Anne Bruce
Sainsbury is planning to make its home shopping service available through other cable TV operators after a favourable initial reaction from customers to its tie-up with NTL.
Sainsbury director of home shopping Robin Lassiter said Sainsbury's to You wanted to sign up with cable company TeleWest, as it develops its home shopping service through television as well as computer.
The link with NTL allows its subscribers to place Sainsbury's to You orders using either their TV remote controls or the internet.
Lassiter said NTL customers could update their Sainsbury order until 9pm the night before delivery and access it from both TV or internet sites.
He emphasised the NTL deal was "a different concept" from Sainsbury's earlier ill-fated trials with Carlton TV.
It ploughed £4m into setting up a food channel called Taste, and pulled out after less than a year. Lassiter said: "Taste was more about a life experience. We would have gone this way as well, anyway ­ we want to make home shopping more habitual." He said NTL was chosen as the platform to launch the service because it is strong in areas such as Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow where Sainsbury's to You wants to expand.
But analysts remained unconvinced. One said: "I can't see why this is more compelling than Taste. It is a capital intensive way of improving Sainsbury's presence in the north, and will need beefed-up distribution."

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