Tesco launches virtual store at Gatwick Airport

Retailer Tesco has announced the opening of an interactive virtual grocery store at Gatwick Airport.

The Gatwick virtual store will enable the 30,000 people who depart from the terminal each day to stock up their fridges for when they return from their travels, according to Tesco.

Based in Gatwick’s North Terminal departure lounge, it will be the first of its kind in the UK, after Tesco launched its first virtual store in South Korea last year.

Travellers will be able to view a range of 80, everyday grocery products on interactive moving screens on four large, virtual fridges and on six digital sites around the departure lounge. Using their smartphones, they can scan barcodes of products, which are then added to their online baskets, book a home delivery slot to coincide with their return and checkout.

The Gatwick store differs from the Korean store, which allowed commuters to shop in subways and at bus stops by pointing their mobile phones at billboards.

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To use the service, customers will need to download the Tesco app from the iTunes App Store, Google Play or Android Market, and register with Tesco.com

Ken Towle, Tesco’s internet retailing director, said: “Our business in Korea is teaching us a lot about how customers and technology are transforming shopping.

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

The store opened yesterday and will operate for a trial period until 19 August. Staff will be on hand to help customers user the service from 6am to 9pm each day.

See video demo of the virtual store.