Supermarket firm Asda is to recruit 1,800 staff to boost its online retail operations in a bid to challenge market leader Tesco.
Figures released in September by analyst comScore Networks revealed that Tesco was scooping up two-thirds of all online grocery orders in the UK, well ahead of Asda, its nearest rival, which takes just 16% of internet orders.
Asda chief executive Andy Bond admitted in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph that the retailer had taken too long to respond to the growth of online shopping. “We were slow to understand how big a market and how big a customer demand there was for dotcom,” he said.
The supermarket firm wants to increase the reach of its online service to take in its entire customer base. At present, online shopping is available to only half Asda’s customers.
The move will see teams of 30 staff added to Asda stores to pick out and deliver customers’ online orders. It is expected that the service will be introduced into seven new stores every month.