* Travellers use smartphones to select produce
* Home delivery avoids returning to empty fridge
* Initiative builds on success of South Korean experiment
LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Tesco, the world's No. 3
retailer, launched an interactive virtual grocery store at
Britain's Gatwick Airport on Tuesday to help holidaymakers shop
for their return using their smartphones.
Tesco said the facility builds on its launch of a virtual
store in Seoul, South Korea, last year, which allowed commuters
to shop in subways and at bus stops by pointing their mobile
phones at billboards.
Travellers from Gatwick could avoid returning home to an
empty fridge by scanning images of products like milk, bread,
cheese, wine and chocolate with their smartphones and arranging
a home delivery.
UK consumers are expected to spend 4.5 billion pounds ($7.02
billion) using mobile devices in 2012, a 53 percent rise on
2011, according to data from the Centre for Retail Research.
Once one of the most consistent British companies in terms
of earnings growth, Tesco stunned investors in January with its
first profit warning in over 20 years.