Asda has already set-up its website, Asda.com in Isle of Skye and reported that it may consider opening stores at Western Isles but as of now has no plans. However,with online shopping services in demand and seeing successful results, rivals like Tesco and Co-op may see a war coming as the UK’s largest supermarket chain eyes on the Isle.
Asda Inverness home shopping manager, Beck Moran explains “It’s already clear from the orders coming through there is definitely demand for a home delivery route to the islands, and it is something we are looking at implementing in the future.” She reported that since the demand, the company has expanded its delivery service to Skye which is showing success, encouraging Asda to consider adding more postal codes to its service. The supermarket chain has commenced using its own delivery vans to transport the orders 3 times per week now, allowing customers to dodge paying premium prices for deliveries.
For now, Co-op is the only retailer with stores in Western Isles and offers home delivery service to its customers but no online shopping, and according to spokesperson for the Co-Operative the Manchester-based retailer does not have any future plans to offer the service. Tesco, set at the town of Lewis Island called Stornoway, offers home deliveries but even with its launch of ‘Click and Collect’ service at tesco.com, it does not extend to grocery shopping.
The grocery shopping sector, according to Asda, is growing by 20 per cent year-on-year and with the click and collect services increasing rapidly customers on-the-go desire online shopping with home delivery service to suit their busy lifestyles.
The company sees progress as its orders come through a courier company in the largest islands of Outer Hebrides, Scotland, at ‘Lewis and Harris’, and the the central group of of islands, ‘Uist’. As for island of Barra, orders are currently being delivered via Barratlantic lorries.
The retailer is trialling the Click and Collect services plus lockers & drive-through as it estimates growing number of people on-the-go using smartphones and tablets to order their groceries. Results from Asda records 20 per cent of its orders being placed via smartphones which increased from 5 per cent in 2011 to 25 per cent last year.
Asda’s service will be beneficial for both the retailer and its customers; there is room and demand for online grocery shopping and home delivery service at Western Isles with customers living too far away from Tesco and Co-op stores liking to avoid fuel price and long journeys.
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