“We aim to be the number one convenience retailer in the UK,” is how Jason Perry of Co-op described the retailer’s mission.
Speaking at IRX 2019 last week, Jason Perry, senior manager ecommerce strategy and rollout, food digital of Co-op considered how the trial of Starship delivery robot in Milton Keynes has contributed to the aim of being the championing UK retailer. In his keynote ‘drone and robot delivery… how can we move from hype to commercial reality?’ he said that the trial would see more than 15k grocery deliveries being completed by the end of the month.
In April 2018, the initiative was designed to combine human and robotic elements. Shopper order via Starship app and pay a £1 delivery charge with no minimum order fee. A store associate picks up the order and hands it to the Starship delivery robot. Shoppers are then can track the robot’s journey via the app.
When asked whether anyone has tried stealing the product? Jason said plainly that there had been no such cases. He said that the retailer have put preventative measures to prevent theft including industrial lock and GPS tracker. Jason said that surprisingly the community has favourited the robots, with consumers sharing stories about them on social media and sending thank you letters back to the stores.
The initiative is demonstrative in the way retailers can leverage automation and existing staff to deliver customer convenience.