September 16, 2021 5.45 pm This story is over 32 months old

Robots will soon deliver your Co-op groceries in Amazon trial

Meals on robotic wheels: coming soon to an area near you

By Local Democracy Reporter

The Co-op has partnered with Amazon Prime to allow customers to get their grocery shopping delivered by robots.

The service launched in Glasgow on Thursday, September 16, and is expected to be rolled out across the UK before the end of 2021.

The national supermarket chain is looking to expand online sales from £70m to £200m and has turned to Amazon Prime to try and make this possible, offering same-day deliveries on groceries.

Customers with Amazon Prime subscriptions will be able to shop for Co-op items on the Amazon website, with two-hour scheduled slots each day.

The number of robots delivering groceries is due to rise from 200 to 500 by the end of the year, as part of an additional step from the Amazon collection lockers which were installed outside some Co-op stores in 2012.

The autonomous vehicles are part of a partnership with Starship Technologies, with which the Co-op already deals with to deliver £70m a year of groceries, along with Deliveroo.

The rapid-fire delivery service will offer free deliveries for orders over £40, and a minimum shop of £15, though it is currently not available in Lincolnshire.

The Co-op has faced scrutiny after signing the deal, with many questioning the ethics of online giants Amazon, but say this partnership is about reaching more people quicker.

A spokesperson for the Co-op group said: “We aren’t compromising our ethics and principles and the extension of the partnership is about getting our ethically sourced products into the hands of more people.

“It reflects the support Co-op members have shown for Amazon’s products by using its lockers and click and collect services through hundreds of our stores for a number of years.

“We also see major opportunities in co-operating with one of the world’s biggest tech companies to tackle some of the big issues, from climate change to youth skills and opportunities.”

Co-op group chief executive Steve Murrells said: “The pandemic has accelerated changes in consumer shopping trends and we’re driving forward with exciting plans to provide rapid kerb to kitchen grocery delivery services.

“We are delighted to be working with Amazon. Its reach and leading technology and innovative approach means greater convenience for people in their communities.

“This, combined with our extended partnership with Starship Technologies, marks a significant milestone in our online strategy.”