The Co-op Group has announced a partnership with Uber Eats as part of its plan to expand its on-demand online home delivery service.
Deliveries will be available via the Uber Eats app from around 1,000 Co-op food stores by the end of the year, with groceries delivered in as little as 30 minutes, with a phased roll-out beginning this week. The Group says 6,000 products will be available, with the physical footprint of its store estate allowing deliveries to be made quickly and conveniently.
The Group is following independent retailer Southern Co-op – which announced in February a service from five of its Southampton stores, offering more than 1,600 items – in making a link-up with Uber Eats.
Other delivery partners taken by the Group include Deliveroo and Amazon – which, like Uber, have drawn criticism from the wider co-op movement for their working and business practices, with the platform co-op movement pushing for the development of worker-led alternatives. The Group has defended the strategy, saying it needs to build its e-commerce offer to deliver a strong business that underpins its ethical campaigns.
It says the strategy is paying off, with 40 consecutive months of growth for its online business, which it aims to grow to £300m this year. It says its online store, shop.coop.co.uk, reaches new customers and increases access to its products, with further opportunities for quick-convenience growth among urban and high-density populations; smaller or single households; shoppers without access to their own vehicle or who are looking to cut short journeys, and time-squeezed shoppers.
Announcing the Uber Eats deal, the Group’s ecommerce director Chris Conway said: “We are committed to offering quality and value with Co-op’s ease, speed and convenience. As a convenience retailer, we know the ability to pop into a local Co-op will always be important to customers, but we also know that fast and flexible options online are important to shoppers too – and so by using our stores located in the heart of communities to provide rapid home deliveries, we can meet customer needs and make shopping easier, however, wherever and whenever our Members and customers choose to shop with us.”
Alex Troughton, head of commerce at Uber Eats UK, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Co-op, one of the most popular grocery retailers in the UK. Our mission is to be the platform of choice across the UK, and with this partnership, more customers will be able to order all their grocery needs at the touch of the button.”