Tesco surprises its rivals with Christmas internet trial
By Abigail Townsend
Published: 03 December 2006
Supermarket giant Tesco is to start selling clothes online this weekend, a first for a supermarket. The news that the UK's biggest retail group is entering the market in time for Christmas will be a blow for many online and high-street retailers.
Tesco announced last month that it planned to sell ranges such as Florence & Fred online. A trial was expected to get under way next year, but instead the retailer is starting immediately.
During the four-week trial, 100 lines will be available at the same price as in Tesco stores, plus postage and packaging. Around 400,000 selected online customers will be eligible to take part.
"Around 10,000 people a week already visit our clothing website to check availability in stores and to view products, so we know the interest is there," said a spokesman. "We'll see how it goes before making decisions on taking it further."
Clothing is the latest move by Tesco to expand its online offering. In August it launched Tesco Direct, which offers goods including televisions, sofas, kitchenware and cameras.