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Koreans visit Tesco through subway hoardings

Fresh fruit and veg from the underground

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Tesco is causing quite a stir in South Korea with a virtual shopping experience that encourages customers to scan billboards on the subway.

The company, which is known as HomePlus in South Korea, has started filling subway stations with virtual store shelves - billboards of products with QR codes attached. Shoppers simply scan what they would like, go to the virtual checkout and organise delivery, KoreAm reports.

Due to long work hours, would-be shoppers often have little time to visit the stores themselves and with 20 per cent of the population using smartphones, the initiative has apparently been a glowing success.

As a result, HomePlus has become the leading online retailer in Korea and has bridged the gap between its leading offline rival, E-Mart.

We then called Tesco to see if it had plans to bring such billboards to Blighty.

The supermarket chain said Brits already have a similar service through the Tesco Groceries app for iOS and Android. Customers can scan barcodes or vocalise product names to make online purchases before organising a time for delivery too.

No word on virtual shop shelves on the London Tube, though. ®

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