Tesco launches virtual grocery store for Gatwick Airport smartphone users


LONDON — Tesco, the world’s No. 3 retailer, launched an interactive virtual grocery store at Britain’s Gatwick Airport on Tuesday to help holidaymakers shop for their return using their smartphones. Tesco said the facility builds on its launch of a virtual store in Seoul, South Korea, last year, which allowed commuters to shop in subways and at bus stops by pointing their mobile phones at billboards.

Travelers from Gatwick could avoid returning home to an empty fridge by scanning images of products like milk, bread, cheese, wine and chocolate with their smartphones and arranging a home delivery. UK consumers are expected to spend 4.5 billion pounds (US$7.02 billion) using mobile devices in 2012, a 53 percent rise on 2011, according to data from the Centre for Retail Research.