Tesco has launched a home delivery service for customers in Shetland for the first time. It is operated out of Tesco’s store in Lerwick which has been extended and it has taken on three specially adapted Mercedes vans.
The remoteness of the islands mean that a trip to the Lerwick supermarket can take and hour in each direction.
The retailer is also launching a Click &Collect service. It said a total of 30 full and part-time positions had been created as part of the scheme.
Slots for delivery in Lerwick, Scalloway, Burra and the South Mainland are available seven days a week, North Mainland and Muckle Roe 4 days a week, and the West and Central Mainland four days a week.
The vans will travel from the store in Lerwick as far as Sandvoe and Isbister in the north, to Virkie and Sumburgh in the south, and to Walls and Sandness in the west. The service is expected to be extended later this year to include deliveries to the outer isles.
However, Tesco’s home delivery plan has come under fire from local shopkeepers.
Scott Preston of Tagon Stores at Voe on Shetland said: “Local shops are concerned about the ability of Tesco to keep their promises to the island folk. Retailers recognise the need for both convenience stores and supermarkets within the local area but they do not feel Tesco reciprocate that recognition. Instead they seek to dominate and destroy.
“When someone is in need of something during extreme weather if their local shop has been closed down due to the dominance of the supermarket giant where are they going to go? Unlike Manchester or Edinburgh the local shop is not likely to be around the corner, it is more likely to be at least a mile away, in some cases more than 10 miles away.
“Village shops are best placed to understand the needs of the local community and they clearly understand the difficulties of the supply chain in getting stock to a remote location, Tesco have only demonstrated their ability to hire Hercules Jets and get airports opened as PR stunts, in other words they have demonstrated the size of their wallet.”