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Tesco is secretly testing one-hour shopping deliveries

Calling it "Tesco Now" was a pretty cheeky move.
Jamie Rigg, @jmerigg
May 18, 2017
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It's no longer enough for supermarkets to offer online ordering and home deliveries. Amazon raised the bar two years ago with one-hour Prime Now grocery drop-offs, and since starting out in London, it's expanded to other cities while its product selection has grown. Sainsbury's was the first supermarket to rival Amazon in the capital, but it turns out that behind the scenes, Tesco has also been testing a one-hour delivery service of its own.

First spotted by LatestDeals.co.uk, the one-hour option only exists within a private app the supermarket has so inventively named Tesco Now. (If you're really keen, there's a relatively convoluted guide on how to solicit a direct download link to install the app, if Tesco hasn't put the kibosh on the method already.) As it stands, the app offers a limited selection of groceries for speedy delivery in London zones 1 and 2.

Like Prime Now, you can also choose whether you want the delivery within 60 minutes or two hours. There's currently no fee attached to either, but it looks like Tesco is thinking about charging £6 for the quicker option and £5 if you can wait that bit longer -- comparable to Sainsbury's and Amazon's delivery charges. Naturally, we reached out to Tesco and received this statement back: "We're always looking at new ways to improve the service we offer our customers, and are currently trialling a one hour grocery delivery service with a small number of colleagues and customers."

At the moment, courier company Quipup is handling deliveries, but any and all of this could change. This is very much a private trial, so there's no guarantee Tesco will actual launch a one-hour service, and it might look completely different if and when it does. However, Tesco does support shopping orders through Amazon Alexa and more recently, Google Assistant, so it's arguably in the best position to play Amazon at its own game.

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