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Online grocery shopping for all “mainlanders”

It’s back to the future for South Island shoppers with yesterday’s announcement that Woolworths is extending its successful Internet home shopping to cover the entire ‘mainland’.

The national supermarket chain said the service was operational from Monday July 3, 2000 at www.woolworths.co.nz . Promotion of the site would begin on July 10.

Woolworths says orders are filled in Christchurch and delivered by courier at a cost of $12 per order.

The home shopping service covers groceries and fresh food. Frozen and chilled goods will not be available because of difficulties in keeping the cold chain intact in the vast distances covered.

Woolworths says produce is available only in areas where it can deliver overnight. The company has established two delivery schedules — one for provincial areas and another for the rural community. In Christchurch, the full range service will remain unchanged.

“It’s so important to deliver products in the condition a shopper would expect from one of our bricks and mortar supermarkets,” said Woolworths’ director of e-commerce Richard Harrison.

“Purely because of the distances involved we were unable to say chilled goods would arrive in top condition.”

Internet home shopping would remind many of the days when you could order your groceries from the local store and they would be delivered to your front door, Mr Harrison said.

He said delivery times would be two to three days for rural delivery customers and overnight for those living in provincial areas.

Provincial areas included Alexandra and Ashburton, Balclutha and Gore, Motueka and Wanaka as well as the major cities and towns of the South Island (see backgrounders for full delivery details).

Rural area deliveries would be made daily Monday to Friday while there would be a daily six-day delivery service for those living in bigger towns and cities.

The Ansett and Rural Post delivery service would operate right throughout the South Island with Rural Post looking after the rural areas.

“No matter if you’re in Ahaura or Yaldhurst or virtually anywhere in between you’ll be able to shop at Woolworths online for your groceries and fresh food,” Mr Harrison said.

Woolworths launched its revamped Online Shopping service in late 1998 and shoppers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have taken to the service in a major way.

Mr Harrison said the company had recently upgraded the site search engine and credit card shopping was added early in the year.

He said the company now had many thousands of online shoppers and received daily feedback from them. The feedback had helped Woolworths fine-tune its Online Shopping service that had in turn enabled it to extend the metropolitan offer into provincial and rural areas.


Ends

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