The Co-op has expanded its partnership with Starship Technologies to allow a further 31,000 households in Northampton to receive deliveries via Starship autonomous robots. It follows the beginning of a trial a year ago.
The service trial has expanded to a further three stores, allowing delivery to residents in Boothville, Great Billing, Hopping Hill and Spinney Hill. The online orders are picked fresh from local Co-op stores, which act as micro-distribution hubs in the community.
Co-op was the first UK supermarket to use autonomous robot deliveries, which are now available from six Co-op stores in Northampton, after they were first introduced for customers in Wootton, Upton, Duston, Abington and Weston Favell.
In September Co-op announced plans to accelerate its ecommerce strategy and drive rapid growth in the market for community-based home deliveries, including a new partnership with Amazon and the acceleration of Starship robot deliveries. Following its launch in Glasgow, Co-op on Amazon has since extended to Bournemouth, Bristol and Nottingham. Co-op is also the most widely available supermarket on the Deliveroo App.
Chris Conway, Co-op’s head of ecommerce, said: “Co-op is committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to our products and services. Our members and our customers lead busy lives and ease, speed and convenience is at the heart of our approach. Co-op stores across the country are well placed to serve shoppers locally and a key part of our strategy is to further develop our ecommerce offer by using our store footprint to provide same-day and, rapid, home deliveries.”
Andrew Curtis, UK operations manager at Starship Technologies, added: “Since launching our service a year ago we have been moved by the extremely positive reaction to the robots and how they have been embraced as part of the local community. While the service has provided the benefits of contactless delivery during the pandemic this past year, we have also seen how people have welcomed the convenience and positive environmental impact of autonomous delivery for ‘top up’ grocery shopping.”
Northampton residents can access Starship’s service via the Starship Food Delivery app. Users can choose from a range of over 3,000 grocery items, schedule their delivery, then drop a pin where they want their delivery. They can watch in real-time via an interactive map as the robot makes its journey to them. Once the robot arrives, they receive an alert, and can meet and unlock it through the app.