A CUT-PRICE grocery delivery service run by media tycoon Jimmy Lai has sparked a home-shopping war that has traditional supermarkets scurrying to keep pace. The adMart service - launched three weeks ago - has proved an instant hit despite being beset by technical hitches. Spurred by the latest competition, Wellcome has relaunched its home-shopping section, ParknShop has scrapped its delivery fee and other grocery chains are plugging their shop-from-home services. Consumers who are within stretching distance of a phone, fax, computer or interactive television now never need queue up at a supermarket checkout again. Ice-cream, eggs and even a cold beer can be delivered within hours of pushing a few buttons. 'It's the new trend - everybody's capitalising on the technology,' Consumer Council spokesman Kenneth So Wai-sang said. Mr So said the increased competition meant a better deal for consumers, provided that shoppers were cautious when sending personal or credit information via the Internet. AdMart, which was started by Apple Daily and Next magazine boss Jimmy Lai, offers quick home delivery of staple food items and even home computers. Company president Wilson Chu Bun says adMart was making 4,000 deliveries a day - and aiming for 30,000 eventually. But right now the company is struggling to keep up with the demand. The adMart service has been such a quick success that its Web site has seized up, hotlines are jammed and faxes take hours to get through. Retail rivals insist they were improving their services well ahead of adMart's arrival, but the main players are now spending a lot of money on promoting their delivery services. The head of Wellcome's 'alternative' buying, Robert Barrett, described adMart as competition, but not a threat. 'It has had a glorious effect on our business,' he said. 'It's really been raising the level of awareness for the overall type of business.' Apart from the usual phone, fax and Internet service, Wellcome also allows shoppers to buy through an interactive television system, iTV. A spokeswoman for ParknShop, which has just scrapped its $10 delivery fee and upped its advertising, said shopping from home would become more popular as more people became connected to the Internet. But both she and Wellcome's Mr Barrett said hi-tech shopping would never completely replace traipsing along the aisles with a wonky-wheeled trolley for many people. 'People really enjoy going shopping with their families,' the ParknShop spokeswoman said. 'And with some things, like fresh fish or pork or vegetables, you want to go there and see it and feel it before you buy it.'