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In the U.K., web grocery shopping ready to explode


Online grocery shopping is expected to surge in the United Kingdom over the next five years. Research firm IGD says food sold over the Internet will double in value to 9.5 billion pounds (CDN$15.1 billion) by 2015, up from the current level of 4.8 billion pounds (CDN$7.6 billion).

Online shopping will represent 5.2% of the overall U.K. grocery market by 2015, compared to 3.2% now.

“Online grocery retailing is already growing at a phenomenal rate and there is still plenty of potential for significant expansion," Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive at IGD, said in a statement. "Although online has a small share of the overall grocery market, it will be the fastest growing channel."

Growth in web grocery shopping is largely being driven by 18- to 34-year-olds. But British retailers, such as Tesco and Sainsbury, are making it easier by offering smart phone apps to buy online and building stores that specifically cater to online orders. The U.K. also has several online-only grocers, such as Amazon, which launched is U.K. grocery service only a few months ago, and Ocado.

IGD research found 7% of shoppers are buying all their regular groceries online. Thirteen per cent say they will use the Internet to do more of their food and grocery shopping over the next year, while 22% of 18- to 34-year-olds say they will use more online grocery shopping in the next 12 months

“Wider delivery coverage and better home internet connections are some of the other reasons why internet grocery retail has the potential to grow significantly," Denney-Finch said.

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