Co-op to further extend robot deliveries in Northampton

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Co-op is set to extend its popular same-day robot home delivery service in Northampton following the six-wheeled autonomous vehicles’ first arrival in the town last November.

After serving the community in and around Wootton Fields (NN4) since last November, the emission-free home delivery service will now roll-out to Co-op’s Barry Road (NN1) store in Northampton later this month (Thursday, 18 February.)

The convenience retailer’s approach to on-demand online shopping sees its stores act as micro distribution hubs locally, with orders picked from the Co-op store so the local high street benefits from any increase in online demand. Co-op became the first UK retailer to use robot deliveries in and around Milton Keynes in early 2018 in partnership with Starship Technologies.

Residents can access groceries and have them delivered by robot through the Starship Food Delivery app (iOS and Android) – choosing from a range of more than 1,000 of their favourite food or drink items from the Co-op. The same day convenient delivery service sees robots travelling up to three miles from the store.

Chris Conway, head of e-commerce, Co-op, said: “We continue to look for new ways to innovate and expand access to our products and services in order to deliver a truly compelling offer locally. The robots have proved to be popular in Northampton, and by offering the home delivery service from our Barry Road store we can further increase availability and choice to meet community shopping needs – delivering quality and value quickly, easily and conveniently is core to Co-op’s approach.”

The convenience retailer has also ramped up its own online shop – coop.co.uk/shop – and now offers same-day online home delivery and click and collect from around 1,000 of its stores through its own online shop and with partners. Co-op is also the most widely available supermarket on the Deliveroo app.

Wider community benefits of robot delivery were first seem pre-pandemic, when a “thank you” note was received from a customer recovering from major surgery and who saw the home delivery service as a lifeline.

The most popular items delivered by robot from the Co-op include: milk, eggs, bread, bananas and cucumber.