Monday, 5 July 1999
TESCO's much-hyped bid to take on the scooter retailing establishment ended last week.
TEXT: All unsold bikes were pulled back to the central depot less than a month after the supermarket giant put 50cc machines on sale at 150 stores.
A spokesman said: "We have withdrawn early. We had a set number which have been sold." He declined to say how many bikes had actually been sold, but Tesco is believed to have started out with 2,000 scooters bought on the grey market from CIF International, the Spanish importer of Her Chee scooters from Taiwan.
Her Chee's official UK importer, Adly, claimed a victory over Tesco's grey market challenge. Marketing manager Ken Holford had urged Her Chee to remind CIF that it was in breach of its contract if it sold bikes outside of Spain or Portugal and thanked the manufacturer for its "support". He added: "Her Chee is obliged to support its UK distributor. We have a big reputation in the UK market."
The scooter sold by Tesco was a model dropped by Adly last year.
But Holford admitted that with so many scooter suppliers in the market, the superstore chain could eventually return to the market with alternative, if sporadic, supply sources.
Tesco's spokesman called the company's scooter venture a trial which was now complete and under review. He was unable to say if or when Tesco would continue to sell scooters or when the review would be completed.
Hometune, the mobile service arm of Kwik-Fit, which was contracted by Tesco to deliver, demonstrate and service its scooters at customers' homes, said last week that its service agreement was continuing and that it had no shortage of spare parts.