Asda plans to open three new depots in the London area to handle its online shopping service when it goes live next month.
[email protected] has up to now been a telephone catalogue operation offering 5,000 family essentials and freezer staples to 140,000 households in the Croydon area. Asda will make the service available on the Internet next month. Payment will be made by debit or credit card.
Unlike other supermarket chains with online services, Asda has chosen to fulfill online orders from a central depot rather than recruiting an army of professional shoppers to put lists together from the stores themselves.
Asda plans to have its second depot in Watford up and running by this September, with a further two in the greater London area full operational by the spring of 2000.
Although Asda has not been as quick off the mark as its competitors in offering shopping online, analysts believe that by opting for a depot approach it will be able to make the service more efficient and offer cheaper prices than its competitors.
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