Asda is planning a counterattack as Tesco launches a bid to poach Asda@tHome customers in the south east with an offer of 500 Clubcard points, the equivalent of £5. The move comes at the start of a three-month disruption for the Asda@tHome delivery service following the announcement of the closure of its depots in Croydon and Watford (The Grocer, January 5). For a period this will mean fewer deliveries in the south east. An Asda spokewoman said: "Tesco's offer of 500 points to our customers is a gimmick. We charge £3.50 for delivery compared to Tesco's £5, that's a saving of £1.50 straight away, and Asda prices are cheaper anyway." But CEO John Browett said: "Asda is contacting customers by e-mail telling them the service will face disruption. So we are stepping in to encourage customers to try our service and reward them in the process." Asda will have upgraded 13 of its south east stores to service Asda@tHome orders by the end of March and is to offer customers free delivery for four weeks after the service has been ramped back up. It says running deliiveries from stores will double product lines to 11,000. A spokeswoman said: "We will be able to offer a greater scale of products in the south east when the conversion has been completed, and there will be much greater scope for non food deliveries." But Tesco's Browett said: "Tesco can deliver 20-40,000 lines from everyday basics to Finest products. All Asda customers need to do is forward the Asda@tHome e-mail to us and we will dispatch a welcome pack and credit 500 Clubcard points to their account after their first order." l Asda will launch a shopping service next month on Sky Active ­ the interactive TV service from Sky Digital which 5 million people can access. {{NEWS }}