Britain's Co-operative Group has announced that it now offers autonomous robot deliveries from eight stores in Milton Keynes to surrounding towns and villages.
In April 2018, the retailer teamed up with Starship Technologies to test the emission-free online home delivery service.
Since lockdown measures were imposed, the retailer witnessed the demand for automated deliveries more than double, with the value of transactions increasing four-fold.
Initially, the service was launched to offer an easy and convenient alternative for time-pressed customers, but it soon turned out to be a ‘lifeline’ for vulnerable or housebound members of the community, the retailer said.
'Core Of Our Approach'
Head of online development of the company, Jason Perry, said, "Quality, ease, and convenience is at the core of our approach and we continue to innovate and expand access to our products online to offer greater flexibility and choice to meet consumer needs in our communities."
The service, priced between £1.49 and £2.49, is available in Milton Keynes from stores in Monkston Park, Emerson Valley, Bodmin Place, Great Linford, Dunthorne Way in Grange Farm, Newton Road in Bletchley and High Street in New Bradwell, and Wordsworth Avenue in Newport Pagnell.
Starship has waived delivery charges for NHS workers during the lockdown period and has programmed its robots to clap and cheer at 20:00 on Thursday evenings to thank and recognise the efforts of carers and frontline workers.
The Co-operative Group is also offering a range of 1,000 everyday essential products and family favourites through robot delivery.