A multi-million pound investment is set to transform Tesco’s Kingston Park store to turn it into the first in the North East with the Giraffe restaurant brand.
The additions to the Tesco Extra, which was once Europe’s largest supermarket, comes after Tesco bought the restaurant chain Giraffe for £48.6m in March last year.
Up to 30 new jobs will be created in the new restaurant, while jobs in the store itself will not be affected by the revamp.
Store manager David Brooks said: “I can’t wait to welcome customers to our new look store. The work being done to transform the shop will give our customers a better shopping experience, something we’re always looking to deliver. As work is carried out we’ll be sure to keep any disruption to a minimum.”
Tesco plans to open Giraffe restaurants in 10 Tesco Extra stores as part of a plan to create an experience for customers outside of their weekly shop.
It’s first Giraffe site was opened in Watford in last year where it has outperformed expectations.
Retail consultant Graham Soult said the huge change in the supermarket sector with the advance of online shopping in particular for non-food items means that Tesco have had to look at new ways of using its larger stores.
He said: “Tesco Extra in Kingston Park opened in 2002 and the whole supermarket sector has really changed since then. It is remarkable in a way that a store that is only 12 years old needs to evolve so much.
“By bringing in Giraffe and more operators into the space it is recreating that surplus space. Giraffe is a really good move. It is the first one in the North East in a Tesco. It is a popular concept.
“People who shop in the area and use the other stores will be attracted by it and it will pull people into Tesco who might not have originally gone there.”
Further investment in the Newcastle store will also include a new larger F+F clothing department, a new ‘food to go’ area at the front of the store and a new phone shop.
A community room will be created to offer free space for community groups to meet.
Explore Learning, a maths and english tutoring organisation will move from its location behind the checkouts to the Mezzanine level and the cafe will close.
Other improvements include the addition of Timsons photo lab and a new pharmacy and opticians.
Work on remodelling the store will be carried out at night to minimise disruptions to customers and the shop will stay open throughout.
The final store will be launched at the end of June, 2014.
Last year Tesco launched its Extra store in Trinity Square, Gateshead.
It included a large F+F clothing department, a click and collect area and a photo store.