Asda has announced that it will become the first supermarket chain in the world to offer same-day grocery deliveries.

But why is it making the move – and will the other supermarkets follow suit?

Same-day delivery
Internet grocery delivery is a godsend for thousands of people in the UK – who pass up the opportunity to slog round enormous stores with the extended family trailing behind them, in favour of a few clicks at home.

However, it does have its downsides. Among the most annoying is the fact that you have to work out exactly what food you’re going to run out of in the next few days – so if you’re already down to the last drop of milk when you sit down at the computer, you’re going to have to go to a store in the interim anyway.

Now Asda has announced plans to do away with the final frustration of online shopping: it says that by the end of the year it will launch same-day delivery on groceries. We will have to wait and see how it works, and what it costs, but it sounds like an excellent move.

So why is it doing this?
It’s part of a major new investment, which will also see 2,500 new jobs. All the supermarkets are seeing their strongest growth in what they call ‘multi-channel’ shopping – which includes things like online grocery shopping and the ‘click and collect’ services, where you can buy online and then pick up your shopping already picked and bagged.

Asda has announced that it will be ploughing £700 million into developing these channels. Andy Clarke, President and CEO of Asda said: “By focusing on their needs through accelerating our investment in the technology and infrastructure to make shopping more convenient, customers can shop for what they want, when they want it.”

Click and collect now accounts for 4% of all grocery home shopping orders, so it’s also investing in the services. It means you’ll be able to pick up groceries from almost 200 stores and petrol stations, and non-food items – like clothes – from some of them too. It even has the world’s first drive-thru click and collect service in York.

Will the other supermarkets follow suit?

Tesco has announced that multi-channel shopping is a priority and it is investing in click and collect. Sainsbury’s has also rapidly expanded its click and collect services.

Tesco has launched a delivery saver deal – where you pay the delivery charge in bulk and get a much lower price. However, it has made no mention of any plans for same-day delivery, and a Tesco spokesperson told AOL Money it had nothing further to add on the subject. Sainsbury’s, meanwhile, has not made any announcements to suggest that same-day delivery is on the cards.

At the moment, therefore, it seems like Asda is a trailblazer. We may have to wait and see whether it has a powerful effect on sales, and whether it inspires the other stores to offer a similar deal.

But what do you think? Is this what you’ve been waiting for? Or do you like the experience of visiting shops yourself? Let us know in the comments.