Sainsbury’s trials Chop Chop fast bike delivery to expand home delivery capacity


To support its efforts to feed the nation and help meet unprecedented demand for home grocery deliveries, Sainsbury’s is expanding its capacity. This includes trialling its fast delivery service Chop Chop to deliver groceries to customers from closed convenience stores, offering shoppers another way to access essential grocery and household items.

Chop Chop delivery

The on demand service had temporarily closed while the retailer focussed all its efforts on stocking stores and its main Groceries Online business. Sainsbury’s has now turned its Blackfriars convenience store, which had temporarily closed, into its first ‘dark’ convenience store for the trial. It’s the first time Chop Chop has operated out of a convenience store.

Sainsbury’s is continuing to prioritise elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers for its Groceries Online delivery slots and over the past two weeks has booked over 320,000 slots for these customers. Sainsbury’s is expanding the capacity of its Groceries Online service as much as possible to serve as many customers as possible and now has the capacity to deliver 472,000 orders a week. The supermarket has also increased Click and Collect slots from 41,000 to almost 100,000 per week.

Customers who might be self-isolating or unable to get to a local store will be able to order a top up shop of up to 20 grocery products through the Chop Chop app and have them delivered to their doorstep in as little as one hour.

The offer has been tailored to those staying at home. A refreshed list of around 400 essential grocery and household products are available on the service, offering customers another way to access the essential items that are most important to them quickly and conveniently.

The service is currently available to Londoners living within 3km from Sainsbury’s Blackfriars convenience store but if the offer proves popular with customers, Sainsbury’s will roll the Chop Chop service out to other closed Local stores in cities across the UK as well as London more widely.

Sainsbury’s has temporarily closed a handful of convenience stores which have seen significantly fewer customers in recent days as people are working from home. By consolidating its operations Sainsbury’s will be better able to serve and help customers where they most need it.

By using closed Local stores Sainsbury’s can maximise the number of customers it can serve through the service, tailoring the layout of the stores so it can stock more essential products and can be picked more easily.

Sainsbury’s expects to be able to serve up to 3,500 customers a week from the one store and is working with its delivery partner to recruit more riders to help deliver orders.

Clodagh Moriarty, chief digital officer at Sainsbury’s, said: “Demand for home delivery has reached unprecedented levels and we are doing all we can to find new ways to serve more of our customers. We are pleased to use our Chop Chop service as an extension of our groceries online offer to enable our customers to quickly get food and other essential items delivered to their homes. While we are starting the trial in London we hope to be able to bring this fast delivery service to other cities in the UK very soon.”

Following the news that Sainsbury’s is launching cycle home delivery service Chop Chop from its first convenience dark store: Thomas Brereton, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the situation:

“Sainsbury’s revival of its Chop Chop delivery trial (first launched in September 2016) demonstrates inventiveness in utilising all its stores to fulfil the hike in demand for grocery home delivery. While it only offers deliveries with a maximum product order of 20 items, and only within 3km of the store, it will help alleviate concerns of eligible customers – particularly those within vulnerable demographics – in receiving essential products quickly.

“However, Sainsbury’s will find it difficult to replicate this model across more of its 807 convenience-store estate. The particular Local store selected to fill in as a fulfilment centre (Blackfriars, Central London) had already been closed due to a drop-off in demand from its usual base (of people buying food on the go and grocery shopping during work hours); given that the number of other stores closed due to similar conditions is – in Sainsbury’s own words – a handful, scope for quickly rolling out Chop Chop on an effective scale appears constrained.”