Co-op has announced plans to accelerate its e-commerce strategy and drive rapid growth in the market for community-based home deliveries, with a new partnership with Amazon and an acceleration of Starship robot deliveries.
The moves are part of an ambitious plan to more than double online sales from £70m to £200m by the end of the year.
The new strategic partnership and robot rollout are key drivers in Co-op’s plans to speed up “rapid kerb to kitchen grocery delivery services.”
The partnership with Amazon gives Prime customers the ability to do their full Co-op grocery shop on Amazon.co.uk, with same-day delivery and two-hour scheduled time slots. Initially launching in Glasgow – including surrounding areas such as Hamilton and Paisley – the initiative will be rolled out to other parts of the UK before the end of the year, with an ambition that it will become a nationwide service.
Co-op has also confirmed the extension of its partnership with Starship Technologies, the delivery robot company launched by the co-founders of Skype, which allows the delivery of groceries in as little as 20 minutes, with a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions. The convenience retailer will increase the number of autonomous vehicles operating and delivering Co-op groceries from 200 to 500 by the end of this year, bringing them to five new towns and cities, including Cambridgeshire, and extending the service into the North of England. Shoppers using the service will be able to chose from 3,000 grocery items.
Steve Murrells, Group Chief Executive of Co-op, said: “The pandemic has accelerated changes in consumer shopping trends and we’re driving forward with exciting plans to provide rapid kerb to kitchen grocery delivery services. “We are delighted to be working with Amazon. Its reach and leading technology and innovative approach means greater convenience for people in their communities. This, combined with our extended partnership with Starship Technologies, marks a significant milestone in our online strategy.”
Jo Whitfield, Chief Executive of Co-op Food, said: “Co-op stores across the country are well placed to serve shoppers locally and a key part of our strategy is to further develop our e-commerce offer by using the competitive advantage of our store footprint to provide ultra-fast home deliveries.
“As a convenience retailer, the ability to come into stores will always be important to customers, but we also know that they want flexible options online. Our commercial strategy is focused on getting closer to where they are to provide what they need, however and wherever they choose to shop with us.”