Tesco launches first virtual store…at Gatwick Airport

By on Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Yep, Gatwick Airport. At first this might sound like combining two less than fun activities, waiting for a flight to leave and a weekly food shop. But wait, there is method to this marketing.

The clever tykes at Tesco think they’ve spotted a gap in the holiday market. When waiting at a baggage carousel with sunburnt shoulders, sandy socks and jet lag, apparently a person’s thoughts often turn to what’s waiting for them at home in the fridge.

Tesco Gatwick

To help us weary travellers with this, Tesco has installed virtual grocery stores in Gatwick Airport’s departure lounge. The ‘stores’ are actually large touchscreens that let users scroll through 80 products on virtual shelves, and order an item they want by scanning the barcode with their smartphone. The idea is you do your shopping while waiting for your plane, and the shopping is delivered when you arrive home again.

Tesco is trialling the stores for two weeks, but the real question is, as the BBC put it, “is this just a gimmick, or will the idea take off?” (no pun intended, we’re sure). Tesco is hedging bets it will, but for now at least it will keep the kids happy while you wait for your flight to Malaga.

Photo credit: Tesco and BBC

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