Non-food web site inaccessible
The launch of the Tesco Direct service has been hit by technical difficulties, causing the supermarket giant to delay its£35 million assault on the non-food market.

The site, selling 8,000 non-food lines spanning furniture, sports equipment, electricals and homewares, was scheduled to go live yesterday. Tesco was unable to confirm when the site would launch.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: 'Unfortunately, we have been experiencing minor IT problems affecting the level of service on our web sites. We want to offer customers the best possible service, therefore we have made the decision to delay the launch.'

Shoppers are unable to access the site, which lies dormant under the banner Coming Soon.

Prior to the launch date, Tesco finance and strategy director Andrew Higginson said that the move was about giving customers access to a greater non-food range. He said that only 25 per cent of shoppers fell within the catchment of Tesco Extra stores, which offer an authoritative general merchandise range.

Pre-launch, Tesco Direct chief executive Steve Robinson also said: 'We want to raise the bar in home shopping in the UK.'