Safeway has teamed up with online wine merchant Madaboutwine.com to launch its first foray into e-commerce.
Safewaywinesdirect.co.uk will house a selection of wines available in Safeway stores. Orders are placed through the Safeway site and will be fulfilled by Madaboutwine.com.
Safeway Internet marketing manager Robin McArthur says the company is looking at developing its e-commerce activities. “Wine is a fast-growing market and we saw an opening for the site,” he adds.
Although he says the supermarket chain had a “substantial” budget for e-commerce this year, he declines to give details as to which areas the company has plans to expand into.
“There are other fast-moving markets we are looking at, but I wouldn’t want to say what they are at the moment,” says McArthur.
The collect-from-stores scheme is being tested in six stores and is due to be extended to online orders by May – orders are currently taken by phone or fax.
Safeway faces significant competition from rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s in home delivery.
Marketing for the site will be through the Safeway magazine, regional flyers and in-store promotions.