Co-op grocery delivery robots are coming to Cambridgeshire

Co-op robots are coming to Cambridge. 

Co-op robots are coming to Cambridgeshire. - Credit: PA Media/Co-op

Co-op delivery robots are coming to Cambridgeshire amid a partnership with Amazon, the supermarket giants have revealed.

The well-known retail business is extending its robot delivery services as it seeks to more than double their online sales by the end of the year. 

Bosses are extending their partnership with Starship Technologies, the robot company launched by the co-founders of Skype, which allows the delivery of groceries in as little as 20 minutes. 

The convenience retailer will increase the number of autonomous vehicles operating and delivering Co-op groceries from 200 to 500 by the end of this year, extending them from Milton Keynes and Northampton to Cambridgeshire and then into the North of England. 

It is not yet known exactly where in Cambridgeshire the robots will operate, but the company plans to roll them out before 2022.

Steve Murrells, Co-op group chief executive,  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.

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"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.” 

Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food, said: “Co-op stores across the country are well-placed to serve shoppers locally and a key part of our strategy is to further develop our e-commerce offer by using the competitive advantage of our store footprint to provide ultra-fast home deliveries. 

“As a convenience retailer, the ability to come into stores will always be important to customers, but we also know that they want flexible options online.  

“Our commercial strategy is focused on getting closer to where they are to provide what they need, however and wherever they choose to shop with us.” 

Co-op plans to speed up “rapid kerb to kitchen grocery delivery services” in a bid to lift online sales from £70 million to £200 million.

A collaboration with Amazon will allow customers to do their full Co-op grocery shop on with same-day delivery and two-hour scheduled time slots for free on orders over £40 and £3.99 for orders under £40, with a minimum shop of £15. 

It launches in Glasgow on Thursday, including surrounding areas such as Hamilton and Paisley, and will be rolled out to other parts of the UK before the end of the year, with the aim of it becoming a nationwide service at an unconfirmed date.