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Tesco Reports Success For Irish On-Line Grocery Service

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

18 September 2002


Announcing record turnover and profits for the past six months, UK retailer Tesco reported continuing success for its on-line shopping services in Ireland, the UK and South Korea. The company's Internet division, Tesco.com, achieved sales of UK£186 million in the six-month period to 10 August, 27% up on last year, and it made a profit of UK£1.9m.

Tesco said it had been aggressively promoting its on-line shopping offering, and claims that that its UK service covers 95% of the UK population; its Irish Net shopping counterpart, Tesco.ie, is available to more than 75 percent of the Irish population. Tesco has 76 stores in Ireland and employs over 10,000 people.

In July, Tesco Ireland launched a Web site for the visually impaired, in an attempt to further broaden the appeal of on-line shopping. The Web site was developed following feedback from blind and partially sighted shoppers, who have used the system in its trial phase. The new Web site is a simplified version of its standard Web site. It presents shopping information in a list format and avoids the use of tables, which make it easier for adaptive technologies to interpret the site for the visually impaired.

Tesco also recently launched a "Pocket Shopper" service that enables its on-line customers to make purchases from a menu of around 20,000 grocery products using handheld computers. Customers can select the products they want via their handheld computer and then complete the order by synchronising with an Internet-enabled PC or by using a wireless connection to the Internet.

Tesco Ireland says it is monitoring customer interest in such a service, but hasn't yet set a date for its introduction in Ireland.


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