The Co-op Group is further rolling out the robot delivery service through its partnership with Starship Technologies, taking in more neighbourhoods in Leeds in collaboration with the city council.
Following a successful pilot launched last November – which gave 20,000 residents within the Adel and Tinshill area of Leeds access to the service – a further 12,000 households in the Kippax and Swarcliffe areas will now be included.
Orders are placed through the Starship food delivery app, which is available for download on iOS and Android, with residents in Kippax and Swarcliffe able to choose from a wide range of groceries which are picked fresh and then delivered locally from two local Group stores.
With a delivery fee starting from 99p, customers can order their delivery to arrive in under an hour and watch the robot travel in real-time via an interactive map. They will receive an alert when the robot arrives, and can meet and unlock it through the app.
Chris Conway, eCommerce director at the Group. said: “Co-op stores are well placed in the heart of local communities to provide quick, easy and convenient grocery home deliveries for time-pressed shoppers – whether that is a full shop or, for last-minute top-ups and forgotten items. We are committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to our products and services, and delighted to be able to roll-out robot deliveries to provide further online flexibility and choice for consumers across Leeds.”
Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, added: “Residents and families of Adel and Tinshill have welcomed Starship robots delivering their groceries, with over three-quarters of survey respondents in support of the introduction of the robots in the area. The expansion to Kippax and Swarcliffe will mean more people in Leeds can benefit from a zero-carbon alternative to grocery deliveries. As a council we’re pleased initiatives like this can help towards reducing the emissions of the last-mile delivery journey. It helps us to meet our pledge of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030 by aiming to reduce short journeys to the shop made by car. Similar to the initial project in Adel and Tinshill, we have created a survey for Kippax and Swarcliffe’s residents and businesses to have their say on the six-month pilot.”
Andrew Curtis, director of European operations at Starship, said: “The feedback we have received since first launching in Leeds last year has been overwhelmingly positive and we are pleased to be able to extend the benefits the robots have provided to an additional 12,000 homes from today. More and more people are conscious of trying to reduce their carbon footprint and our robots help with this by eliminating the need for short car journeys to pick up groceries.”
Starship’s robots are powered by renewable electricity, with an average delivery consuming as little energy as boiling a kettle to make one cup of tea.
The expansion continues Starship’s growth across Yorkshire following the launch of the service with the Group in Wakefield in May 2023. The robots operate in several other locations, including Trafford (Greater Manchester), Milton Keynes, Northampton, Bedford and Cambridge.
Since launching commercial deliveries in 2018, Starship’s 2,000+ fleet of robots have safely completed more than five million deliveries around the world, with people using the service to save time and fit shopping around their busy lives. Globally, the robots undertake 140,000 road crossings every single day.