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Asda deal lets customers collect shopping at London Tube stations

LONDON Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:27am GMT

A sign for the ASDA supermarket chain stands outside a store in London, January 23, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A sign for the ASDA supermarket chain stands outside a store in London, January 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Finbarr O’Reilly

LONDON (Reuters) – Asda, the British arm of U.S. grocer Wal-Mart Stores, has teamed up with Transport for London to enable customers to pick up shopping ordered online from six London Underground station car parks, it said on Wednesday.

Like other retailers, Asda is experimenting with different pick-up points to capitalise on shoppers’ increasing demand for “click-and-collect” grocery options.

The supermarket – battling with J Sainsbury to be Britain’s second largest grocer in terms of sales – has already trialled collection services at a Park and Ride facility in Nottingham, central England, and at a business park in Reading, southern England.

Asda’s latest initiative will offer same-day ordering before noon – meaning commuters can order their shopping online before midday and pick it up after 1600 GMT.

The first London Tube stations will be East Finchley, Harrow and Wealdstone, High Barnet, Highgate, Stanmore and Epping.

The move is part of a five-year strategy detailed by Asda last week that included increasing its click-and-collect points to 1,000 from 218, while also extending its footprint in London and southeast England, where it has fewer stores than rivals, including market leader Tesco.

Food and consumer goods research group IGD predicts click and collect will help the online grocery shopping market in Britain grow to 13.7 billion euros ($18.5 billion) by 2016 from 7.1 billion in 2012.

Asda is targeting online sales of 3 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) by 2018.

If the initial click-and-collect locations at Tube station car parks are successful, Asda will seek to extend the scheme to other areas of London and southeast England.

(Reporting By Freya Berry and James Davey; Editing by David Evans and Pravin Char)

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