Co-op ramps up store openings and ties up with challenger start-up Pinga to offer zero emission grocery deliveries in East London

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Co-op is set to open more than three stores each week until December as plans to serve new neighbourhoods accelerate.

The retailer has also joined forces with the challenger start-up Pinga to offer zero emission online grocery deliveries across East London.

The convenience retailer will launch over 65 stores new and extended stores, with more than 100 further outlets receiving major makeovers as part of a £130M store investment programme creating up to 1,000 local jobs – this is in addition to the more than 1,000 permanent roles that came from temporary jobs created to keep communities fed during lockdown.

Further, up to 12 new Co-op franchise stores are set to launch this year, including at Oxford Brookes University and Stirling University – with more university locations planned for 2021.

In addition, during the first half of 2020, 304 new stores joined NISA with around 90% of all Nisa retailer’s now stocking Co-op own-brand products.

Pinga partnership

Over 500 Co-op products will initially be available through Pinga’s App serving up to one million people living close to five of the convenience retailer’s stores located in Hackney, Stepney and Stoke Newington.

Once an order has been placed, grocery items are selected by a ‘Pinga Partner’ – who are vetted and trained local people – and delivered to the customer’s door in 90 minutes or less, mainly on foot, electric scooter or bicycle. Pinga is working towards 100% emission free deliveries in the coming months.

Co-op stores working as micro distribution hubs locally fits with Pinga’s plans to digitise and work closely with high streets stores, with Pinga estimating that more than half of orders currently made online could be supplied by local retailers.

Jason Perry, Co-op head of online development, 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. Shoppers are increasingly looking for on-demand online convenience – shopping in close proximity to their home or place of work. 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, explained: “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.”

Co-op it expects its same-day online delivery offer – through its own dedicated online shop (coop.co.uk/shop) and, with delivery partners – to be available from more than 650 of its stores in communities across the UK by the end of 2020.

Shoppers in the area can download the App by searching for “Pinga” on the App Store or Google Play Store. For more information, visit: www.pinga.co.uk

Local convenience trend

70% of adults have relied on their local convenience store

The role of the retailer is increasingly shifting to meet consumer demand for ease, choice and added services, delivering compelling convenience for communities. Research shows, 70% of adults have relied on their local convenience store where they can shop quickly, easily and safely, with shoppers popping to their local store more than three times each week on average. The friendliest shoppers were shown to be from Newcastle, with almost two-thirds on first name terms with store workers.

  • This month sees Co-op’s partnership with John Lewis Click & Collect service exceed 500 Co-op stores.
  • Co-op stores act as micro-distribution hubs for its online on-demand convenience offer, with stores benefitting from an uptick in increased online demand by up to 10-15%.
  • Co-op is now the most widely available supermarket on the Deliveroo App with over 400 stores making deliveries in as little as 30 minutes. It has expanded its own online shop ( coop.co.uk/shop ) at pace, and offers a click and collect service in as little as two hours to provide a quick, safe and easy shop locally where customers can be in and out conveniently.
  • The Co-op was the first UK retailer to use autonomous robots to deliver groceries, and has announced local partnership trials with Buy Mie (Bristol) and, has this week launched a partnership with Pinga in East London.

David Roberts, managing director, Co-op Property, said: “Co-op works to operate at the heart of local life, making a difference in its communities. Multiple factors motivate consumers, with ease, choice and added services chief among them. We continually look for new locations, sites which are definitively convenient in their community – closer to our Members and customers with proximity shopping a key consumer consideration. Co-operation is a fundamental part of our DNA, and through our partnership approach we are enriching our offer to make convenience truly compelling in our communities.”

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive, James Lowman, said: “Convenience stores have firmly established themselves as a place that local communities can rely on, not just for groceries but for a growing range of services that have kept the nation going during the last few months. This commitment to investing in stores in the coming months is testament to the importance of the convenience sector and the role that local shops play in people’s everyday lives.”