With community in mind, Central England Co-op have decided to provide much-needed reassurance to their members. Instead of ending their free delivery offer when all restrictions are lifted on 21st June – or on 31st July, the target for all adults having had at least their first vaccine – they’re extending the free offer for members until the end of the year.
To help keep their communities protected from Covid-19, Central England Co-op launched a delivery service in September 2020 with free delivery for members. Unlike the majority of supermarkets, delivery slots can be booked and delivered in under an hour by the customers’ local store.
The service has been a lifeline for vulnerable families, the elderly and time-poor parents who were also contending with home schooling. But as lockdown is slowly relaxed, it’s clear that anxious members of the community may not feel safe until they and the rest of the public have been fully vaccinated.
Cathy, 65, who started using the service in December said: “Throughout the pandemic I’ve been leaving the house as little as possible as my husband is vulnerable and shielding from the virus. I would go out once a week at the shop’s quietest time – in the evening – gloved and masked, as protected as possible. I would hurtle back and put everything in the wash, hoping I hadn’t brought anything back. It was a godsend when I became aware of the delivery service.
“I started with a small order to begin with, and it worked really well. The rest is history I suppose. We really struggled with other online supermarket delivery services at the beginning of the pandemic, so being set up with Co-Op when we went into our third lockdown after Christmas was a huge relief. We’ll continue using the service after everyone’s vaccinated too – it has really given me hours of my life back!”
Paul Dennis, chief retail officer, said: “The vaccination program has so far been rolled out very successfully, but won’t be available to all until the end of July. In addition, there are questions over uptake and there are concerns over the vaccine efficacy over new variants.
“We expect that members in our community will still feel nervous beyond June when the restrictions are expected to be lifted and as such the delivery service will continue to be a necessity. In addition, the expected wind up of the Furlough scheme in September which will likely leave families facing financial challenges. With these factors in mind, the continuation of free delivery for members was an obvious choice. Never have the values of Central England Co-op been more pertinent – putting community above profits.”
The Central England Co-op delivery service is genuinely at the heart of the community, with all the friendly drivers trained with ‘time to chat’ badges. Orders made from over 50 local Central England Co-op stores via Snappy Shopper – who have been working in partnership with the brand since September 2020 – are picked and packed from a local store, with a choice of over 4,000 products that can be delivered within an hour of ordering. The Central England Co-op vans are electric, with a low mileage radius making it not only fast for the customer, but kinder to the planet.
Members and new customers can use the promotional code FIRST1FREE when booking their delivery.