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Co-op expands robot deliveries to north Northamptonshire

Starship Technologies' robots ready to deliver on demand for the Co-op. Image courtesy of the Co-op

Co-op has expanded robot deliveries to north Northamptonshire.

From today, up to 45,000 residents in Wellingborough, Higham Ferrers and Rushden can order groceries online for on-demand delivery via Starship Technologies’ robots from four local Co-op stores that act as micro-distribution hubs. Products are picked and delivered in as little as an hour. 

Chris Conway, ecommerce director at Co-op, says: “Co-op is committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to its products and services. Our members and customers lead busy lives and ease, speed and convenience is at the heart of our approach. We are delighted to be able to extend the service in the area, as a convenience retailer, the ability to come into stores will always be important to customers, but we also know that shoppers want flexible and convenient options online, and so we are focused on providing what our customers want and need, however and wherever they choose to shop with us.”

Shoppers are now able to use the Starship Technologies iOS or Android apps to choose from a range of grocery items from the Co-op, schedule their delivery and drop a pin to show where they want their delivery to be sent. They can use an interactive map to track their robot’s journey to them – travelling and 4mph and using renewable electricity. The robots use sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate obstacles. 

Councillor Graham Lawman, North Northamptonshire Council’s executive member for highways, travel and assets, says: “The council is committed to the environment and this new service is another innovation that we are supporting to help to provide a clean and green alternative to the private car for day-to-day convenience shopping, helping to reduce emissions. They will be really useful for those without a car or unable to get out for those urgent items.”

Since Starship Technologies launched commercial deliveries in 2018, its robots have travelled more than 4m miles and completed more than 3.5m deliveries – and collectively make the equivalent of three road crossings every second.

Andrew Curtis, UK operations manager at Starship Technologies, says: “Our robots offer an environmentally friendly and convenient way of helping people with their ‘top up’ shopping and we’re confident the service will be similarly well received in North Northants.”

Co-op groceries are now available for delivery from a total of 15 shops in the Northamptonshire postal area, where they first started to operate in 2010. 

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