Tesco to roll out Internet shopping service

The popularity of Internet shopping has led Tesco to announce it will roll-out its Tesco Direct Internet home delivery trial to more than 100 stores by the end of the year.

The company says it is attracting more than 200,000 customers to the trial service at 11 stores in London and Leeds. It aims to expand the service and axe the original catalogue-based trial at a store in London’s West Ealing.

A spokesman says: “We have found the Internet system has been far more effective. The West Ealing store will now become Internet-based.”

The operation at West Ealing takes orders by phone and fax but will change to match the 11 trial stores which take orders over the Net. Orders are assembled by assistants in-store and delivered to customers’ homes in Tesco-branded vans.

This week, Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy reported a 7.8 per cent increase in annual pre-tax profits to 881m (817m) on sales up 6.3 per cent to 18.5bn (17.4bn). Leahy says: “We now have 200,000 [Tesco Direct] customers and are adding nearly 10,000 every week.”

The roll-out is part of an overall expansion programme orchestrated by the UK’s biggest grocer. The company is the country’s largest employer, with a staff of 172,000. It will create a further 10,000 jobs in the UK and 10,000 overseas with a new store opening programme.

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