Tesco launches virtual store

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 8th August 2012

Tesco this week launched another innovative interactive virtual grocery store from Gatwick Airport.

The store allows customers leaving the country to order their groceries and have them delivered when they arrive home.

Customers are able to view a range of products by scrolling through moving screens on large “virtual fridges”. By scanning the barcodes with their smartphones, customers add their chosen products to their online baskets, book a home delivery slot and checkout. Their shopping will then be delivered when they return from holiday.

Senior Marketing Manager for Tesco.com, Mandy Minichiello said “the last thing you want is an empty fridge when you get back from holidays.”

“You can book a delivery slot up to three weeks in advance, do a full grocery shop while waiting for a flight and it’ll be delivered to your home when you get back,” Ms Minichiello added.

Tesco’s Internet Retailing Director, Ken Towle said the new virtual store follows Tesco’s launch of the world’s first virtual store in South Korea last year. Commuters in Korea are able to shop in subways and at bus stops by pointing their mobile phones at billboards.

“Our business in Korea is teaching us a lot about how customers and technology are transforming shopping. The virtual store blends clicks and bricks, bringing together our love of browsing with the convenience of online shopping,” said Mr Towle.

A number of supermarket groups around the world have developed or launched virtual stores with orders being taken through an iPhone and scanned QR codes.  For example in Melbourne and Sydney a series of billboards have created virtual stores generating grocery sales for the Woolworths supermarket group, as previously reported in Australian Food News in February 2012.