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Case Study of Accessibility Benefits:
Tesco

This page is part of the Resources for Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization.

“Not only do we get the satisfaction of doing the right thing, but it's a great market opportunity in its own right.”
(John Browett, Tesco Chief Executive3)

Many fully-sighted people find Tesco's Access site easier to use than other sites. Although originally designed for visually impaired users, the site now attracts a much wider audience, spending £13 million a year, which is a fraction of the original cost of £35,000 to develop the accessible site.4 (See *Note on current best practice)

About the business

Tesco was started in 1919, amongst the East End grocers’ markets of London (although the first Tesco brand products and Tesco store came 5 and 10 years later respectively), and in 1932 Tesco became a public limited company. It is one of the UK’s largest grocery retailers, with annual profits in 2005 reaching £2 billion GBP1. In addition, Tesco supplies a wide range of non-grocery consumer products, covering home and lifestyle, entertainment, and insurance. In 2000, Tesco.com was launched.

Website visitor numbers

www.tesco.com/access/ Unknown, but substantial2

Accessibility changes

Implemented: 22 May 20013

Measures taken:

Key changes:

It should be noted that this new interface did not replace the existing site, but was made available as an accessible alternative for those users who had no need for the picture heavy content some home-shoppers used.3 (See *Note on current best practice)

Results

Additional benefits:

References

  1. Tesco PLC 2009 (accessed), website: www.tescoplc.com (www.tescoplc.com/)
  2. Statbrain.com 2009 (accessed), Report: Tesco Visitor Statistics (www.statbrain.com/www.tesco.com/)
  3. Mc Manus, S. 31st May 2001, “Tesco launches visionary website” (www.sean.co.uk/a/web design/accessibility.shtm)
  4. Employers’ Forum on Disability 2009 (accessed), "Realising Potential" (www.realising-potential.org/case-studies/industry/e-commerce.html)

*Note on current best practice

It is generally not current best practice to develop a separate accessible website; instead, it is best practice to make your main website accessible. [Myth: Separate Accessible Versions (Text-Only)]