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Somerfield shuts up online shop

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Somerfield has announced plans to scrap its online shopping business this month.

The supermarket chain's ecommerce division will take its last orders on Sunday, and the business is due to shut on June 25. More than 200 staff will be affected by the move at its 24-7 shopping arm, but Somerfield today declined to comment on job losses.

The company, which last month recorded drooping Q4 sales, also kept schtum on today's FT report that the division - which has a presence on interactive TV channel Open - had been losing up to £1 million a month. Two of its newest depots were busying themselves with as few as 15 orders a week in early May, the article said.

"We may well have a fresh look at the role of ecommerce food retailing within Somerfield in the future," said John von Spreckelsen, the retailer's executive chairman. "But the hard fact is that 24-7 has not been growing and represents a significant distraction to management at a time when its focus has to be on the core Somerfield and Kwik Save business." Somerfield started its online business two years ago.



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