The Co-op Group is launching a home delivery service for groceries, beginning with a trial in nine London stores.
It is the first time the organisation has offered online grocery deliveries via a dedicated website, shop.coop.co.uk, and follows a recent trial of autonomous robot deliveries in Milton Keynes and a free service by taxi for groceries at eight other UK stores.
The new service will initially be available to shoppers within a four kilometre radius of a store on the Kings Road in Chelsea, before being rolled out to eight more London stores. Orders will be fulfilled using zero emission electric cargo bikes, from e-cargobikes.com.
The trial claims that shoppers will receive their orders within two hours. There is a standard £5 delivery charge and a £15 minimum spend, with all prices the same as they are in stores. A a free click and collect service will also be made available through the website.
“This is an exciting time for the Co-op, with trials underway on a number of new, online initiatives,” said Chris Conway, head of food digital.
“As the leaders in convenience shopping, we want to look at different ways of bringing our award-winning products closer to shoppers, and this new service does exactly that.”
The retailer says it plans to make online shopping available in a significant number of UK towns and cities.
However, the news comes as the Group confirms it will be closing its online electrical business on 24 March 2019 following a strategic review, with the final deliveries taking place on 30 March.
“This decision reflects the small-scale of the business and the significant capital investment that would be needed to expand the business,” said a statement. “This is within a market which is also facing significant challenge and uncertainty.”
The Group confirmed that the existing customer contact email and phone number would remain open for queries.