Tesco Direct

Tesco Direct

THE BUYER, Eleanor Trickett, Campaign

Continuing the series in which Campaign tests a product or service

against the promise of its marketing, Campaign reporter Eleanor Trickett

puts Tesco’s home shopping through its paces in an effort to feed her

hungry colleagues.

How hungry we hacks get on a Wednesday, toiling away trying to put

Campaign to press. The one poor soul who finishes writing their stories

before anyone else has three options: to sit at their desk enduring

hunger pangs; slip out to Pret a Manger without telling anyone else and

then endure the wrath of Campaign editorial; or spend half an hour

paying for 20 different lunches with 20 different tenners.

So in a fit of generosity, I asked my colleagues for their lunch orders

for the next press day. Then I got on the internet to acquaint myself

with Tesco Direct.

Before I continue, I have to point out that anything that went wrong was

due to my titchy Mac, and not this slick, attractive website.

Undeterred (as yet), I sat down on Tuesday morning and registered at

length, and got a friendly e-mail back welcoming me to the service.

After collating 20 lunch orders, I spent more than three hours painfully

scrolling through the informative menus to pander to my colleagues’


When I finally tried to go to the checkout, my computer belched and

switched itself off. So I did what I should have done three-and-a-half

hours ago: borrowed our internet editor’s powerful beast.

It was a whole new world. It took only seconds to type in my identity

codes and, in less than a minute, it became clear that I’d farted around

for so long that I’d missed the Wednesday delivery slot.

Having tearfully changed the order to just teabags and a few biscuits, I

submitted my order and now sit here on Thursday morning, waiting for my

delivery. The allocated slot was 11.30am-1.30pm, but I’m off to the Ivy


PS. It all arrived on time.

THE SELLER, Helen Bridgett, Tesco Direct

Tesco Direct has been rolling out its home shopping service in an

increasing number of UK stores over the past year. Here, its strategy

development controller, Helen Bridgett, tells Eleanor why she should

continue to use the service.

Welcome to Tesco Direct, Campaign. How sensible to have located your

offices in a neighbourhood where we are testing home delivery of


I’m only surprised it took you so long to try out the service.

We’ve got a substantial loyal base of customers in the area who love

doing their weekly shopping via the internet.

It’s simple to register; we help you make your first order, which forms

the basis for your shopping thereafter.

We do all the shopping for you from your local store (we employ trained

personal shoppers to fulfil each customer’s specific needs). They pack

it neatly and safely, load it into one of our fleet of refrigerated vans

and then brave the appalling West London traffic to deliver it to your

doorstep in a pre-agreed time slot.

According to our direct customers, that’s worth a pounds 5 service

charge in anyone’s money.

What’s interesting is that it doesn’t mean those customers stop coming

to our store to shop. They just like the freedom to pick and choose when

they want to visit and when they want home delivery.

Not everyone wants to do their shopping this way. Our research shows

that most customers enjoy the shopping trip to Tesco and would always

want to shop ’face to face’.

But for those families who are particularly time-constrained, this is

likely to be an increasingly popular option. As someone who has been

involved in the trials, I can say it’s exciting to be in at the

beginning of a shopping revolution!

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