26 Nov 2020

Retail Tech Thursday: Co-op extends robot home delivery service in UK 

Retail Tech Thursday is our weekly check-in here at Spreckley, where we share all the most interesting and useful retail and retail technology news, innovations and trends.

This week, the Co-op extends its robot home-delivery service in the UK, retail footfall is down drastically this quarter compared to last year due to COVID-19 and beleaguered bakery brand Patisserie Valerie gets a much-needed boost through a new partnership set to be rolled out in over 250 Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.


Co-op to roll out 300 retail robots in 2021

Robots may well soon be helping out with the delivery of your weekly grocery shop, if the latest initiative being rolled out by the Co-op in the UK is anything to go by.

According to Retail Week the Co-op is “expanding its robot home-delivery service and revealed plans to offer online delivery and click and collect from 1,000 stores by the end of the year.”

“The convenience specialist is rolling out its use of Starship Technologies’ autonomous robots into Northampton from today.” Retail Week reports.

Chris Conway, the Co-op’s head of ecommerce said of the project: “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. Our partnership with Starship enables Co-op to offer further availability, flexibility and choice to meet community shopping needs for on-demand convenience.

“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. Offering quality and value quickly, easily and conveniently is core to Co-op’s approach – delivering what our members and customers want, when and where they need it.”


Huge drop in footfall since this time last year 

In what is hardly the most surprising news of the week, The Retail Bulletin reports that footfall in British retail destinations has plummeted, down 55.4% year-on-year over the last week.

“However, the figures from retail specialist Springboard show big variations between the four UK nations with a decline of 59.8% in England and respective drops of 34.3%, 30.4% and 29.6% in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

“Central London and regional city centres continued to be the hardest hit by the impact of Covid-19 restrictions. The annual decline in footfall in regional cities last week was 64.4% compared to 80.4% in Central London, although footfall in Central London was up 14.4% from the week before.”


Patisserie Valerie partners with Sainsbury’s  

Finally this week, beleaguered bakery brand Patisserie Valerie gets a much-needed business boost, as Sainsbury’s announces a new partnership set to be rolled out in 250 stores, starting this month.

Retail Gazette reports that, “Patisserie Valerie will launch a range of cakes and patisseries in 250 Sainsbury’s stores as part of a new tie-up with the grocer, according to The Telegraph. The French-inspired chain headquartered in Birmingham will offer 14 of its best-selling cakes and patisseries in Sainsbury’s from next Wednesday.”

Patisserie Valerie chief executive James Fleming said of the new partnership: “Both Patisserie Valerie and Sainsbury’s are brands that are much loved and trusted by UK consumers. In bringing our range exclusively into Sainsbury’s stores and online to their customers, we are excited to build on that trust with our high quality, handmade cakes and patisserie.”