Tesco Opens Virtual Shop at Gatwick Airport

Posted on 7 August, 2012 by Rachel Mellor

You may be wondering why Tesco are opening a shop in an airport, when the last thing people will be thinking about is what they will be cooking when they get back from two weeks in the sun.

But picture the scene. Your flight lands at 10pm at Gatwick Airport, you then queue through passport control and collect your suitcases, which can take around an hour, not to mention the drive home – which, depending where you live, could take a couple of hours. So the first thing you will do when you arrive home is go to bed.

Tomorrow arrives, you fill up the kettle, put a tea bag in a mug, head towards the fridge and (you can guess where this is going) there is no milk! A quick scoot around the kitchen and there is no bread, so even toast is out of the question. So the first thing you have to do, even before you have breakfast, is visit a retail commercial property to stock up your kitchen. Not ideal and the last thing you will feel like doing.

Well, good news, as Tesco have opened a virtual shop in Gatwick Airport, allowing you to buy a few essentials which will be delivered to your home for when you arrive back from your holiday.

“The virtual store blends clicks and bricks, bringing together our love of browsing with the convenience of online shopping.

“It’s a chance to showcase what we can do to the 30,000 people a day who will depart from Gatwick’s North Terminal, many of whom will need to fill their fridges when they get home, and we’re looking forward to hearing what they think,” Ken Towle, Tesco’s Internet Retailing Director, said.

To use the virtual shop, customers just need to download the iPhone or Android app and register with Tesco’s website. The virtual shop is located in the north terminal of the commercial property and has four interactive fridges where people can scroll six slides, which showcase 80 products. Customers simply scan the barcodes of the products that they wish to purchase using the mobile application, choose a delivery slot up to three weeks in advance and pay for their groceries.

Speaking of the virtual shop idea, Mandy Minichiello, Senior Marketing Manager at Tesco said:  “We really wanted to provide a helpful service for busy families. You can book a delivery slot up to three weeks in advance, do a full grocery shop while waiting for a flight and it’ll be delivered to your home when you get back.”

But some people may argue that if you can book a delivery slot three weeks in advance, then surely you could just organise an online food shop before you left for the airport? This is correct, but with so many things to do before your holiday, like packing, buying those last minute essentials, ensuring you have all the relevant documents that you need – thinking of what food you will want when you get back just isn’t a priority.

But instead, after people have checked-in at the commercial property, they are much more relaxed and have on average around 70 minutes to kill before they board their flight – a perfect window to do some shopping.

Are you jetting off on holiday from Gatwick Airport soon? Will you be utilising Tesco’s virtual shop to stock up your fridge ready for when you get back from holiday?




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