Supermarket heads take virtual shopping to a new platform
FOOD Detective is not allowed to go food shopping with Mr Detective due to her habit of lingering in the confectionery aisle and pressing her face up against the bags of chocolate snowballs for hours on end.
Mr Detective is all for a quick scoot down the aisles — darting around stationary shoppers whose spatial awareness when it comes to their trolleys leaves a lot to be desired — before zipping at breakneck speed to the checkout with his purchases. Detective is prone to trolley rage in such situations (the second reason she is banned from Saturday morning visits to the supermarket) but she may have found a way to get around such unfair exclusion.
A ‘‘virtual store’’ is being rolled out in South Korean train stations by Tesco Homeplus in a bid to increase sales without opening more shops.
Billboards with photos of all the usual merchandise found at the supermarket, arranged on virtual store shelves, have been posted on station platforms for commuters to browse while they wait for their train.
In the event the 18.45 to Gwangju is running late again, they can spend the time shopping by pointing their smartphone at a bar code and adding items to their virtual shopping cart: no trolleys, no endless checkout queues, no pimply, part-time staff who wouldn’t know their parmigianoreggiano from their party pies.
Even better, by the time these shoppers arrive home, their goods will have been delivered.
Detective thinks it’s a great idea, and hopes that if the virtual store ever makes it to Australian railway stations, the concept might be expanded to include billboards featuring pictures of trains that, once ordered, are actually delivered to the platform on time.
DETECTIVE was so impressed when Penguin Books created a line of mugs sporting vintage book titles that she carted a full set back in her suitcase following a holiday in London (only for them to become available in Australia soon after and spoiling all the fun). Another excellent initiative by the international publishing house is its newly released Great Food Series, a collection of bite-sized books with a food focus. Writers including Samuel Pepys, JeanAnthelme Brillat-Savarin, Isabella Beeton and M.F.K. Fisher are included in this series of 20 titles reflecting on food from across the world over 400 years.
Detective could while away many hours reading Eliza Acton, who was telling the modern British woman how to manage her household well before Mrs Beeton fronted up in her neatly pressed pinny, or Brillat-Savarin expounding on the erotic properties of truffles, or Italian Pellegrino Artusi discussing unfortunate incidents involving minestrone in Livorno or the unusual history of ice cream. The beautifully presented paperbacks are $9.95 each and Detective reckons turning up with one as a gift for the hostess at that next dinner party will beat a bunch of service-station flowers hands down. More: penguin.com.au.
DETECTIVE’s recent mention of unfastened hair during cook-