In 2001, while online grocery services such as Webvan, Peapod, Streamline, and Homegrocer.com were suffering huge losses, merging to stay alive, and going out of business, Britain’s largest grocer, Tesco PLC was a notable exception. This case describes the development of Tesco, and the company’s online business. Of particular interest is the company’s method of distribution, by fulfilling online orders by picking goods from existing stores as opposed to building dedicated warehouses as done by Webvan. The case asks whether the online business model Tesco developed for the UK could be successful in the United States. The case was developed to be used together with EC-31Webvan: The New and Improved Milkman.
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