Boots to launch home shopping >

Boots the Chemist will be the first high street retailer to sell its goods by TV as it becomes the latest player to join the UK’s growing home shopping market.

Its 24-hour, seven-day-a-week home shopping system, which is being tested in Hull, combines a television set-top box with a remote control connected directly to the telephone system.

Through cable TV, customers will enter a virtual Boots store, similar in layout to those on the high street, where they can choose from 4,000 Boots products – from shampoo to photographic film.

However, laws governing the sale of over-the-counter medicines will prevent drugs and pharmaceuticals from being sold this way.

The fastest delivery time will be within three hours of the order, and all deliveries will be made between 8am and 9pm at no extra charge.

The trial service is available in 250 homes, with plans to roll it out across the UK next year. The trial will determine how customers shop from home, and what sort of equipment is needed.

Marks & Spencer announced its plans to extend its home shopping operation earlier this month with the introduction of a clothing catalogue.

Last week, high street fashion retailer Oasis announced its intention to do the same.

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