It costs Mercadona, Spain's biggest supermarket group, 16 euros to deliver a home order to one if its internet customers. This is more than double what it is actually charging those people, which averages 7.21 euros.
The firm reaches that figure by calculating how much it costs for the average of 45 minutes that it takes a staff member to collect the products that have been ordered from the shelves and bag them for delivery. According to Mercadona, customers' online orders don't normally have less than 70 items in them.
The discrepancy came about as for a while Juan Roig, the founder of Mercadona, didn't put much faith in internet shopping. Now that has all changed and the company is striving to make real money from it.
An experimental warehouse in its home region of Valencia is now directly handling internet orders for places up to 40 kilometres away, with packing 24 hours a day and delivery from 7am to 10pm.