Tesco trials virtual shop at Gatwick

Tesco has opened an interactive virtual grocery store at Gatwick’s North terminal as it looks to boost its number of customers shopping with the grocer using their smartphones.

Tesco virtual shop

The Gatwick virtual store, which will run from 6 August to 19 August, will let people browse a range of products by scrolling through moving screens on large virtual fridges.

Customers can scan barcodes with their smartphones and add products to their online baskets and book a date for a home delivery.

The Gatwick opening builds on Tesco’s launch of its first virtual store in South Korea last year, which allowed commuters to shop in subways and at bus stops by pointing their mobile phones at billboards.

Nearly a year ago Ocado opened a virtual pop-up in London’s One New change shopping centre, which allowed shoppers to browse products on a window display and scan barcodes using its smartphone app and choose a delivery time for it to be sent to their home.

Ken Towle, Tesco internet retailing director, said at the launch yesterday [6 August]: “This isn’t just about moving customers from using one channel to another it’s also about attracting new customers. Online is becoming increasingly important. We are responding to the wider use of smartphones as there’s a huge amount spent online via mobile. It’s another way of providing customers with access to Tesco.”

He also said the store was a trial and there were no plans to roll it out wide.

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