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More than 100,000 households across the UK ordered shopping from Tesco.com in the last week of November, a number that is expected to rise in the run-up to Christmas.
John Browett, chief executive officer of Tesco.com, said the figures prove that the air of mystery about the Internet has evaporated. "Until recently, many people still found the idea of using the computer to do their regular supermarket shop too big a change. But the mystery has gone now. We all know at least one person who buys groceries on the Net and that makes taking the plunge so much easier," he said.
The figures will increase pressure on Sainsbury's online venture, which expects to be profitable in late 2003 or early 2004, while Tesco.com's first half results for 2002 showed a pre-tax profit of £1.5m.