Tesco's plans to launch what it called the UK's 'first ever drive-through supermarket' have been rubbished by small shop owners who have been offering a collection service for years.

The Tesco scheme, which will cost shoppers £2, will enable them to drive to a dedicated area of the store at a set time and pick up their pre-ordered goods without leaving the car.

It would be popular with young people and busy mums who didn't have time to wait for a home delivery, the supermarket said. However, an army of small shop owners say they already offer such services for free.

"We've been offering a grocery collection service for the past decade," said Charles Brading, owner of Vic's Stores on the Isle of Wight. 'Where our elderly or infirm customers are concerned, we even drive their goods to their homes and offer them a cash- back service if they pay by cheque. You can't get more convenient than that.

"We're not alone, though. There are loads of great stores out there who do similar things, but don't shout about them. Local shops can't just be proud about all the things they offer they need to be loud about them, too."

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