Tesco taps into virtual store trend

start-up-idea-virtua-supermarketTesco has launched the UK’s first virtual supermarket at Gatwick Airport in the hope bored holidaymakers waiting for their flights will want to order a delivery for when they return.


Tesco says the facility builds on its launch of a virtual store in South Korea, which allows commuters to shop in subways and at bus stops by pointing their mobile phones at billboards.


Now, Tesco has set up 10 screens in Gatwick Airport’s departure lounge as part of a two-week trial.


Travellers can avoid returning home to an empty fridge by scanning images of products like milk, bread and cheese with their smartphones, and arranging a home delivery.


“We got a lot of interest in our Korean sites and it went viral,” says Tesco’s internet retailing director Ken Towle.


“We wanted to see if customers would use this, with a view to launching at more airports.”


Virtual stores appear to be gaining pace, so perhaps there’s an opportunity to introduce the concept to Australian consumers.


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