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Difference of opinion between Budgens and Tesco

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Here's an interesting one. Budgens - most well known for its late-night b2 newsagents - has decided to shut down its online shopping service Budgens Direct. The Net's rubbish, the company said (well, we're paraphrasing, it actually said: "We believe that we can continue to deliver greater value to our shareholders by focusing on our core proposition of fresh-food based neighbourhood stores"). Tesco isn't quite in agreement and announced at almost the same time that it will be expanding its online presence to include over 1,000 electrical products. (Interestingly, the goods include the DVD player that was the focus of some extensive hacking efforts in February.)

So how come the different viewpoints? Well, it's probably something to do with fact that Budgens is just as it sounds, a corner shop. To be fair, that's not strictly true but it is the opinion that most people have. Plus, our main experience of Budgens is staggering into one of its shops at 2am and buying some chocolate, water and milk (well you need coffee in the morning don't yer?). Quite how it ever thought this "buying experience" was ever going in to fit in with the Web is anyone's guess. It's also telling that the company never bothered to buy budgensdirect.com, even though it's up for sale.

Tesco, on the other hand, is a prime contender for Internet success. There can't be much worse than having to go food shopping in a big supermarket. You have to work out when you have time. Plus, the shopping weighs a bloody ton. And we haven't even started on the mind-of-their-own trolleys, checkout Nazis and mothers who take their kids there to smack them. Buying over the Internet in this case has very clear, distinct advantages.

The Internet - it separates the men from the boys. ®

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