Tesco brings smartphone shopping to Gatwick

Supermarket shopping on your mobile phone? There have been apps available for some time, but a new Tesco virtual store in Gatwick Airport adds a new twist.

The new service, which is being trialled at Gatwick, is aimed at reminding holidaymakers to make an online grocery order for when they return. After all, the last thing you want to do when you get back from your hols is battle round the supermarket aisles.

The concept was first seen in South Korea, but now the giant touch-screens have landed here, creating the UK’s first interactive virtual grocery store. Customers can view a range of everyday products by scrolling through moving screens on large virtual ‘fridges’. By scanning the barcodes with a smartphone, you can add your chosen products to an online basket, book a home delivery slot and checkout. The shopping will then be delivered when you return from holiday.

The 'store' is being trialled in the airport’s North Terminal departure lounge until 19 August, covering Gatwick’s two busiest weeks of the year. Staff will be on hand to help customers with the scanning and ordering process on their smartphones.

The virtual stores have become a permanent fixture in Korea after a successful trial, but it remains to be seen whether the UK will follow suit. Its a nice idea, but with one flaw – you can always do the shop at home and book an advanced delivery before you go on holiday, rather than do it in the airport.

On the other hand, this service might just fill the 'dead' time between checking in and flying out. More practical than updating your Facebook status 25 times.

Source: The Grocer

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