Tesco has launched a virtual supermarket at Gatwick Airport’s north terminal. The UK’s biggest supermarket chain is tapping into the popularity of smartphone users by installing a smartphone-friendly online shopping system allowing holidaymakers to place an order before they fly. In order for consumers to place their order, Tesco has set up ten screens in the airport’s departure lounge where images of products will appear and you can scan on your phone, creating a virtual shopping list. Once your list has been compiled you can place your order for delivery after you’ve arrived home from your holiday.

It might seem like a logical and sensible thing to do – but do you really want to start thinking about the end of your holiday before you’ve even left the tarmac? We will wait to see the initial popularity results of this venture before we start ordering our loaf of bread as we board our plane to Majorca.

Having said this, supermarkets have come a long way – they are no longer the place you go to shop for basics such as bread, milk and cheese – you can now buy your mobile phone there, order your travel money, buy a bed and as Tesco has demonstrated order your weekly food shop…at the airport. In 2000 Tesco started offering a mobile phone service and now, twelve years later, another area Tesco is branching out in is mortgages. Already a contender in the credit card, loans and insurance markets Tesco is now taking on the big banks – is there nothing this company can’t do?

While mortgages may not be of interest nor be on the mind of the average student – coffee certainly will be. This month, it appeared as though Tesco was opening up its own coffee chain, but it seems that is not the case. The new coffee chain in question is part owned by Tesco, who controls 49% of the company. The first branch of Harris and Hoole – an “artisan” coffee chain will open in August in Amersham, Bucks. It looks like we will have to keep waiting for an own-brand Tesco espresso bar to pop up.

Mobile phones; insurance; cafés – are no industries safe from Tesco? The likes of Amazon.co.uk and Play.com are being challenged by its new CD and DVD on demand service Discs on Demand; its first foray into thecoffee house will not go unnoticed by Caffè Nero or Costa Coffee and who can forget the big banks who are being tested by Tesco’s new mortgage offering.

Students can take advantage of no end of products and services from Tesco:

  • Groceries
  • Furniture
  • Student Insurance
  • Travel Insurance
  • Car Insurance
  • DVDs, Music, Books
  • Mobile Phones
  • Mobile Phone Service
  • Electrical Appliances
  • Clothing
  • Savings Accounts

But looking into the future, the continuing dominance of Tesco in the consumer’s world begs the question will there be no stones left unturned by the supermarket giant?

In the meantime, if you are off to Tesco today for some good old fashioned food shopping then why not choose a recipe from our database of over 3,700 recipes to cook up a storm in the kitchen.