SHOPPING Threat to supermarket supremacy

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The weekly visit to the local supermarket could soon be a thing of the past, according to a shopping survey by the property consultants Healey & Baker. It forecasts a growth of the "doorstep delivery" market to around pounds 8.5bn, with 20 per cent of the population buying their groceries through home shopping services or "drive-thru" operations.

The study suggests that shoppers value choice and convenience above price. Almost half those surveyed said they did not choose to shop in the stores they believed offered the lowest prices.

Tesco is already running an Internet shopping trial in west London and is extending the service to five new areas. Sainsbury's is running an "Order & Collect" service at its Watford store, where customers phone through their order then drop by the store to collect it. According to the report, 21 per cent of shoppers would be interested in a home delivery service and 11 per cent in an "order and collect" system.

Where People Shop 1997, Healey & Baker. Tel: 0171-514 2112. Nigel Cope