Co-op expanding use of robots to deliver goods

The Co-op is increasing its use of robots to deliver goods from its stores, the company has announced.

Robots were on the streets of Northampton on Wednesday as part of the retail giant’s expanded use of autonomous home delivery in partnership with Starship Technologies.

The Co-op said it planned to use up to 300 of Starship’s robots by the end of 2021 as it looks for more towns and cities to operate autonomous deliveries.

The service first launched in Milton Keynes and has now started in Northampton.

The initiative in Northampton will serve around 5,000 households with contactless deliveries, initially from a local Co-op food store, with the robots typically travelling up to three miles to a house.

Starship Technologies robots have completed over 500,000 commercial autonomous deliveries in local neighbourhoods and university campuses across five countries.

Chris Conway, head of eCommerce at the Co-op, said: “We continue to look for new ways to innovate and expand access to our products and services to deliver a truly compelling offer for consumers.

“We have seen big changes in eCommerce this year with new customers using the channel that have never used it before, and seeing the benefits.”

The Co-op said the most popular items delivered by robot included milk, eggs, bread, bananas and cucumbers.