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Online grocery market will double within five years

London, UK: The online UK groceries market is one of the fastest-growing areas in retail, but only accounts for £5.6bn of a £156.8bn market. However, it is expected to nearly double to £11.1bn within five years according to a survey by the Kantar consultancy.

Tesco is the biggest online groceries business by a long way, according to the survey. The chain’s internet assault has continued with the opening last month of its fifth “dark” store, which is closed to the public and just processes online deliveries.

Asda took a little longer to get its web offering off the ground but it now controls 33% of the online market. It is opening its third dark store in Nottingham next month.

Ocado is the biggest online-only grocer, with 5% of the market, but has failed to turn a profit. However, it has a loyal customer base, regularly comes top of satisfaction surveys and has expanded into non-food sales.

J Sainsbury has an 18% market share, delivering to 88% of the country, staff at Sainsbury’s still pick orders from shop floors, rather than from dedicated warehouses. However, a click-and-collect service in store has been popular. Justin King, Sainsbury’s chief executive, has admitted that “customer behaviour is changing.”

Waitrose, the upmarket chain previously sold its products through Ocado before entering the online market place with its own delivery service in 2011. In an attempt to poach customers from rivals, it offers customers free delivery on orders worth more than £50.

Moasrt home deliveries are made using multi-temperautre bodies vehicles, typically under 5 tonne.