Iceland Group is developing a new hi-tech picking centre to take its home delivery service out of stores and to develop a new level of efficiency. Chief executive Bill Grimsey said Iceland would not be following the model of standalone picking centres. Instead it would be in a dedicated area utilising excess space within a Booker depot. Addressing the IGD annual convention he claimed: "Iceland has the longest running nationwide delivery service." But he added: "The service from stores is too limited. We are developing and implementing a new service based on dedicated picking centres. It will allow us to provide a fuller offer with confidence in our service." Grimsey said the service would offer Iceland, Booker and third party products to provide customers with a wider range. The first of the new generation of depots is due to enter service next year, but he would not reveal its location. He said if the model worked it would be rolled out to enhance the service nationwide. Grimsey said the home shopping market showed great potential. It only accounted for 4% of sales, but was growing at a rate of 30% a year. In addition the majority of users were A, B C1 and C2 cash-rich customers and transactions were much larger than the average instore sale. Grimsey defended Iceland's multi-channel approach to the market ­ with its retail arm Iceland, wholesale cash and carry group Booker and foodservice arm Woodward ­ pointing out that on the Continent and in the US, operations such as Ahold and Metro had similar structures. {{NEWS }}