UK's Co-op has announced plans to accelerate its e-commerce strategy through a new partnership with Amazon and step-up robot deliveries in cooperation with Starship Technologies.
The new elements are part of an ambitious plan to more than double online sales from £70 million to £200 million by the end of the year.
Strategic Partnership With Amazon
The new strategic partnership and robot rollout are key drivers in Co-op’s plans to speed up what its says 'rapid kerb to kitchen grocery delivery services.'
The partnership with Amazon offers 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 options.
Initially, the service will launch in Glasgow – including surrounding areas such as Hamilton and Paisley. It will be rolled out to other parts of the UK before the end of the year and the retailer aims to make it a nationwide service in the future.
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," added Murrells.
Elsewhere, Co-op and Starship Technologies have confirmed plans to extend their partnership, adding new robots to take the total fleet to 500 autonomous vehicles across the UK, while launching robotic delivery services in five new towns and cities.
The retailer is the first major UK supermarket to use robots for home delivery in partnership with Starship Technologies.
Co-op will increase its robot fleet by over 300 by the end of the year, increasing the retailer's offer of on-demand convenience and cutting carbon emissions on last mile deliveries.
The robots are expected to be making deliveries in five new towns and cities, with Cambridgeshire the next location after Co-op and Starship first launched the emission-free autonomous delivery service in Milton Keynes in 2018, and Northampton in 2020.
Shoppers can choose from over 3,000 grocery items, which are delivered in as little as 20 minutes through the Starship Food Delivery app.
Chris Conway, head of e-commerce at Co-op, said, "Our focus is to continue to innovate and look for new and better ways to do business in our communities while expanding access to our products and services.
"In addition to offering quality and value quickly, easily and conveniently, we need to do this sustainably, and by working collaboratively with Starship and other partners with shared values we can ensure we further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, something which is essential if we are to have a healthy and sustainable natural environment to pass on to future generations."
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Conor Farrelly. For more Technology news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.