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ASDA shuts ecommerce depots

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ASDA has abandoned its ecommerce strategy in favour of one championed by rival supermarket Tesco.

The about-turn means that the Wal-Mart subsidiary will now operate its home delivery service with produce sourced directly from its stores instead of centralised depots.

As a result, the company will close its home delivery depots in Watford and Croydon, which serve the south east of England.

ASDA hopes that no jobs will be lost as a result of the closures.

While ASDA plays catch-up, the decision to change its ecommerce strategy is yet another thumbs-up for Tesco, the UK's most successful home delivery grocery operation.

According to figures released in September the company said its ecommerce service was on target to make a profit by the end of 2001. The company has also exported its ecommerce strategy to the US.

A joint venture with Safeway announced last summer saw the US grocer shelve its warehouse-based home delivery operation in favour of Tesco's in-store operation. ®

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