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Lloyds Pharmacy taps Deliveroo as new distribution channel


Lloyds Pharmacy has become the latest retailer to use Deliveroo as a new delivery channel.
Over 50 of its products can be ordered from the Deliveroo app and websites for delivery in as little as half an hour.

The range includes over-the-counter products, including masks, gloves and hand sanitisers as well as first aid, pain and hayfever relief and children’s medicines.

The service is available this week from 16 stores including Southampton, Bristol, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Cambridge. The companies will add a further 24 in the future.

Deliveroo has proven a popular way for retailers, particularly in the grocery sector, to get online during the coronavirus pandemic. Morrisons and Marks & Spencer are two retailers that have used it in this way.

In a similar vein, Uber launched Uber Direct in April, seeing the company offering deliveries for retailers in New York City, Portugal, Australia and South Africa. Currently the pilots are largely focused on medicines.

The upside to these apps is they offer a pre-built distribution network for retailers, meaning that they can begin selling online instantly with a fast delivery service.

However, they involve ceding the customer and resultant data to a third party. Considering the relative inefficiency of a cyclist carrying a small number of order compared to a van doing a well-planned delivery route, it is hard to see how selling through Deliveroo or Uber can really compete on margins with using a traditional courier.

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