Supermarket group Morrisons has launched its long-awaited online food business to corner a slice of the growing cyber-grocery market.
Deliveries are expected to start across the Midlands from 10 January and half the UK by early 2015.
The company had come for widespread criticism for letting rival Sainsbury's, Tesco and Wal-Mart's Asda who have been online since the '90s steal a march.
The chain has responded by striking a 25-year deal worth £216 million deal with online grocery distributor Ocado to use its technology and warehousing.
According to chief executive Dalton Philips, the fresh food offer would be the closest thing on the internet to being in a store and selecting food yourself, express.co.uk reported.
Morrisons, whose tie-up with Ocado would give it an online grocery capacity of £500 million of sales, said its website would give a feel of its tailor-made fresh food with services such as a ''virtual butcher'', which would let customers choose how thickly their steak was cut.
The company planned to let online shoppers return food they were not happy at the ''doorstep check'' delivery.
The Guardian quoted Philips as saying, the fresh food offer would be the closest thing on the internet to being in a store and selecting food yourself. He added, customers did have concerns about buying fresh food online and Morrisons believed it had come up with the answer.
According to commentators, Morrisons would certainly make a splash if it was to persuade 32 per cent of its shoppers who already bought groceries online via rival sites to switch.