The Co-op is promising zero emission online grocery deliveries in East London through a new partnership focused on sustainability. The tie-up with start-up Pinga is another step towards the Co-op’s aim of offering same-day delivery from more than 650 of its UK shops by the end of 2020.
Shoppers can now use the Pinga app to buy up to 25 products from a range of 500 items for delivery from its shops in Hackney, Stepney and Stoke Newington. Orders will be bought from those shops by a ‘Pinga partner’ – a local person who has been vetted and trained for the job – and then delivered in 90 minutes or less. The cost of the service starts at £2.95. Pinga estimates that more than half of orders currently made online could be supplied by local retailers – and delivered on foot, by bike or by electric scooter, and it is working towards achieving 100% emissions free deliveries in coming months.
“Shoppers are increasingly looking for on-demand online convenience – shopping in close proximity to their home or place of work,” said Jason Perry, Co-op head of online development. “With deliveries made in 90 minutes or less we can provide what shoppers want, when and where they need it, conveniently.”
Pinga co-founder Michael Goulden said it was important for the business to create an ethical gig economy. He said: “We describe Pinga as the ‘high street in your hand’ and our aim is to digitise and work in collaboration with local stores. Creating an ethical gig economy is key to us, and the combination of emission free deliveries and treating our people, partners and the planet fairly are at the heart of our approach. We believe this will mean that those involved right across our supply chain are more likely to stay with us, building great relationships with customers. Those shared values are why we’re so pleased to have partnered with the Co-op.”
Pinga partners are promised same-day payment and reimbursement of costs for carrying out local jobs for which they can be paid up to £10.
The news comes as the Co-op creates 1,000 new jobs in a way that it says reflects changing shopping habits. It is opening more than 65 shops by December, while a further 100 shops will receive a makeover, as part of a £130m store investment programme. The retailer says it sees its role changing as shoppers look for more choice and greater convenience.
This is also the latest experiment for the Co-op in innovative and sustainable ways of delivering goods. It uses Starship Technologies’ delivery robots to deliver from shops in Milton Keynes, Deliveroo to deliver from 400 shops, and is trialling the use of the Buymie app in Bristol. The Co-op now expects to be able to deliver same-day from more than 650 Co-op stores across the UK by the end of 2020 via these and other delivery partners, whether via its own online shop or its partners’ apps. Where delivery methods are not yet available, shoppers can often opt to collect online orders from local Co-op shops.
Perry said: “We continue to innovate and expand access to our products, getting closer to our members and customers with ease, speed, quality and choice locally to meet the needs of communities.”
The Co-op is one of a number of grocery retailers finding fast and convenient ways to get online deliveries to customers who found a new appetite to buy online during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. Waitrose is also working with Deliveroo , and operates a Waitrose Rapid service via Onthedot.
Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda all expanded their online deliveries or introduced new ways of offering delivery during lockdown.