The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce joined forces with Tesco to develop education enterprise activities aimed at inspiring and teaching pupils the retail market.

Primary school, Thorn Grove in Bishops Stortford and Thomas Alleyne Secondary School in Stevenage piloted events with the support of Tesco staff led by Bryony Thompson and Penny Cuthbert, both of whom played key roles in the development of the programme.

Year 6 activity at Thorn Grove Primary School was facilitated by a team of Tesco personnel, the students were encouraged to think about how Tesco markets itself, its new innovations and technology which culminated in a phone app designed to make shopping more fun. The session was interactive, stimulating and was enhanced by having so many adults with specialist knowledge in the classroom.

The challenge for the older students at Thomas Alleyne School was to create a strategy and develop a brand to launch a supermarket in Spain. Working in competing teams with the support of Tesco staff, the students had to evaluate the current marketplace and competition. Penny Cuthbert from said “The students were involved in every stage of the strategy with setting up Tesco in another country. They had to apply themselves in teams looking at data supplied and coming up with a workable business case. The students were thoroughly involved with all activities and as it was the first time held in a secondary school situation we were extremely pleased with the enthusiasm shown and the ideas generated.”

The teams came up with some very creative ideas and following each team’s pitch the Tesco staff had a very difficult decision in selecting the winning team.

Penny Cuthbert from said “The students were involved in every stage of the strategy to set up Tesco in a new market. They had to work teams looking at data we supplied and coming up with a workable business case. It was the first time we’d held this kind of event in a secondary school, so we were extremely pleased with the level of enthusiasm and the great ideas that were generated.”
John McBride the Chamber’s Education Business Links Manager said “It was great to see staff from a key local employer give up their time to deliver a challenging business activity. The students learnt a lot about the real world of retailing and responded by demonstrating a wide range of their abilities including team working, understanding market research, competitor analysis and displaying excellent presentation skills.”

The winning team was Fantastesco.

The successful programme will now be rolled out to more schools across Hertfordshire, helping to equip young people with much needed business skills. It will also inform young people of the range of career opportunities that exist within Tesco, one of the county’s major employers.