The Tesco Hudl: Do they really exist?

The Tesco Hudl © Tesco PLC
The Tesco Hudl
© Tesco PLC

I don’t know how Tesco’s highly-rated but super-hidden budget tablets, the Hudl, got their name. But I’m beginning to think that the Hudl doesn’t really exist and that on 1st April 2014, Tesco will announce that we have all fallen for an amazing marketing ploy and that Hudl actually stands for “HaHa U Dozy Loons!”

Has anybody ever seen one? I mean, a real one – not a display one in a Tesco store, not a picture on a website or a video on the television, but a real, actual, working Hudl in the hands of an ordinary member of the public?

I am a regular visitor to the new Tesco store in the Victoria Shopping Centre in Hednesford, Cannock (I say new, it opened more than a year ago) and I often look at the Hudl display with great interest. I’ve been considering buying one for some time. On the odd occasion, such as today, I have actually tried to buy one. Yet whenever I have checked they have never had any in stock.

I’ve read all sorts of what i can only call nonsense about stock levels and delivery. In the early days of the Hudl, Tesco released on the Black model to stores. If customers wanted a colour one they would need to order this online. At the time of its launch I read somewhere that Tesco only allowed each store to have no more than three in stock at any one time.

That couldn’t be right, could it. You wouldn’t launch a major new product line and then restrict availability of the stock you’re trying to sell.

Today I tried again to buy a Hudl, and once again Tesco in Hednesford say that the product is out of stock. A search online threw up a report in today’s Independent in which Tesco “dismissed suggestions of supply problems” with the Tablet. The report says that they have completely run out of stock twice since its launch in September.

But it did hold out a ray of hope: the purple Hudl was available online (although the black, blue and red models were sold out). And so I went online to purchase a Hudl only to discover that the purple, too, is now not available. So, that’s three times that they have completely run out of stock.

A Tesco spokesperson is quoted in the Independent as saying that “We are working with our suppliers to get more Hudls in to meet demand, with regular deliveries expected especially in the run-up to Christmas.”

But they’re not meeting demand. They’ve not been meeting demand since they launched and, with Advent beginning yesterday, we are most definitely now “in the run-up to Christmas” and they have none in stock to meet demand now.

It could be, that Tesco genuinely have been surprised by the success of the Hudl which has produced extremely favourable reviews even from those who were skeptical about whether a Tablet priced at just £119 would be able to deliver on quality and spec; and that demand has far outstripped their expectations, hope and dreams.

But don’t rule out an April Fools Day advert next year – HaHa U Dozy Loons – in which Tesco laugh at us for believing that the Hudls were real.



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