Tesco: Global consistency with local flexibility - developing and implementing reward plans in different international markets

In this case study, written and researched by e-reward, we examine how Tesco’s approach to reward has evolved over the last decade, from the principles agreed by the board ten years ago to arrangements now, and how the organisation’s reward principles are being implemented internationally, in Tesco’s 12 overseas markets. We also discuss how it feels to be at the receiving end of a large UK company’s international reward policy, and the differences between Tesco UK and Tesco Korea’s ways of doing things.

Company profile

Employees: 450,000 worldwide.

Location: Central departments in Welwyn Garden City and stores across the UK. Tesco also operates in 12 different countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and USA, including Poland, Thailand, South Korea, Turkey, Japan and China.

Business activities: Tesco currently has 3,728 stores worldwide, nearly half of which are outside the UK. There are six store formats, differentiated by size and the range of products sold. These are Extra (hypermarkets), Superstores (standard large supermarkets), Metro (high street convenience stores), Express (small convenience stores, for example in high streets or attached to petrol stations), One Stop (the very smallest stores) and Homeplus (large stores offering all Tesco products except food).


  • Overview

  • Underlying principles

  • People Promises

  • International reward team

  • Business background

  • Reward in the UK

  • Reward overseas

  • Progress overseas

  • Korean reward journey

  • Recruiting and retaining talent in Thailand

  • Improving pay satisfaction in Turkey

  • What has and hasn’t worked?

  • Tesco in Korea - A Korean perspective

  • Open culture

  • Korean reward plan

  • A final word


  • Box 1: Korea - reward journey

  • Box 2: Korea - measuring success