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Tesco to offer online shopping in Outer Hebrides

23 August 2013 - 10:25 by Mike Price

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If you are lucky enough to live on the mainland of the UK, then you will probably expect to be able to order any product online and have it delivered by the next working day, if not sooner, in certain circumstances.

However, communities based in the outer reaches of the British Isles may not always be so lucky, since the logistical problems associated with fulfilling online orders, particularly where groceries are concerned, make it difficult for retailers to justify offering speedy delivery.

Residents of South Harris in the Outer Hebrides, for example, cannot currently receive deliveries from supermarket giant, Tesco. But this could all change as a local resident has been campaigning to make e-commerce accessible on the island.

The Stornoway Gazette reports that South Harris resident, Harvey Johnstone, has been in touch with Tesco's customer service department over the last few months and has finally received confirmation that there are plans to roll out safe shopping online in this isolated community.

Tesco representative, Louise Skelly, told Mr Johnstone that a proposal for the launch of grocery delivery in the area has been made and plans should be finalised in the spring of 2014.

Should Tesco go through with its plans and start delivering groceries in South Harris, customers will be able to order online via a PC, tablet or smartphone and then get their items straight to their door at a scheduled time.

Mr Johnstone explained that part of the reason for encouraging Tesco to make this type of service available is that most local residents have to travel long distances to get to the nearest supermarket, which is hardly convenient for those who work full time.

Although Tesco covers 97.3 per cent of the UK's population with e-commerce, South Harris has been excluded, until now.