Co-op to launch ‘walking deliveries’ from stores
Co-op is to become the first UK supermarket to launch ‘walking deliveries’ to homes and workplaces situated up to a 15 minute walk from its stores.
Expected to operate from 200 stores this year, the initiative follows successful trials in Cornwall.
The trials involved shoppers using the service for top-up shopping, forgotten items and treats and meals for evenings at home. Users included a resident who was housebound following surgery, and parents of young children attracted by the ease and convenience of quick home delivery. The roll-out is expected to include smaller towns and rural villages that are often considered ‘off-line’ by rapid home delivery providers who are more likely to focus on urban hubs.
Co-op is aiming to grow its online business by a further 50% to £300 million by the end of this year.
The use of robots also forms a key part of Co-op’s plans and this week it has partnered with Starship Technologies to introduce home delivery robots on the streets of Cambridge for the first time. The retailer was the first UK supermarket to partner with Starship with robot deliveries now a familiar sight in Milton Keynes and Northampton.
Chris Conway, Co-op’s ecommerce director, said: “Making shopping quick, easy and convenient for our Members and customers is at the very heart of our approach, our aim is to be the most convenient home delivery service and we continue to innovate to meet the needs of consumers.
“Co-op stores across the country are well placed to serve shoppers locally and a key part of our strategy is to develop our ecommerce offer, using the competitive advantage of our store footprint to provide fast home deliveries, click and collect and added services.”
Co-op now operates online services from over 2,000 locations, with its stores acting as micro distribution hubs in communities. Its on-demand convenience model has been scaled at pace through both its own online shop, which offers home delivery and click and collect, and with partners including Deliveroo, Amazon Prime and Starship.
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