Anglia Regional Co-operative Society made its first foray into e-commerce this week with the launch of a furniture web site.

The£300 million turnover business expects the site – – to deliver£4 million in sales within its first year.

The company already operates nine furniture stores in East Anglia under the AHF fascia, but has branded the site separately to give it more national appeal. The co-operative expects the web store to receive 10,000 visitors a day. It anticipates that the site will compete with the web sites of retailers such as John Lewis and Furniture Village.

Anglia e-commerce operations manager Steve Bone said that the site will initially offer a range of about 550 products, but it intends to expand this.

Anglia will use site analytics software from Speed-Trap to help it examine customer behaviour on the site. Bone said the company wants to make changes to content in real-time to optimise it during the first few months of trading. It will help the retailer to understand what visitors are searching for and how they react to different pricing and delivery timelines.

He said: “It gives us a chance to get it right before the Boxing Day Sale period starts.”

In the run-up to the site’s launch Anglia has also had two phases of usability testing and Bone said it will do more testing post-launch.

He added that Anglia is looking at how it can create white label variants of the site for other co-operatives. In the longer term Anglia will look at expanding its e-commerce business by launching sites for its department store and optician chains.