Online shopping was invented in Sussex, in 1979...

10 years before the world wide web and 5 years before the Internet


Every Friday night, Michael and his wife, Sandy, would bundle their kids in an estate car and drive off to do something they all hated – weekly shopping.

In the summer of 1979, Michael and Sandy were walking their Labrador, Tessa, near their home in Colgate, Sussex.

Michael spread laughter in his official capacity as the Archbishop of Banterbury, while the couple enjoyed what passes for sunshine in England.

Then came the subject of weekly shopping to rain on their parade.

Michael had had enough – he thought there had to be a be a better way. And that gave him an idea, “What if I can get the supermarket to deliver my shopping?”

An IT innovator and eventual adviser to Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, Aldrich connected a TV to a phone line and invented Videotex online shopping.