Co-op and Starship Technologies have partnered with North Northamptonshire Council to roll-out autonomous grocery delivery to local residents across Wellingborough, Higham Ferrers and Rushden.
The partnership will see that up to 45,000 residents across 33,000 households in Wellingborough, Rushden and Higham Ferrers are “able to access on-demand grocery delivery” from four Co-op stores located in Olympic Way, Northern Way, Grangeway, Rushden and Higham Ferrers.
The groceries are also picked fresh in the local Co-op stores, which act as “micro-distribution hubs” in the community with products delivered from store to door in one hour or less.
Starship was created by the co-founders of Skype in 2014. Since launching commercial deliveries in 2018, its robots have travelled more than four million miles and safely completed more than 3.5 million deliveries. Around the world, the robots reportedly make 140,000 road crossings every day world-wide, which is equivalent to three road crossings every second.
The robots are powered by zero carbon electricity, with an average delivery for a Starship robot consuming as little energy as boiling a kettle to make just one cup of tea. Orders are made through the Starship food delivery app, which is available for download on iOS and Android.
Chris Conway, e-commerce director at Co-op, said: “Co-op is committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to its products and services. Our members and customers lead busy lives and ease, speed and convenience is at the heart of our approach.
“We are delighted to extend the service in the area, as a convenience retailer, the ability to come into stores will always be important to customers, but we also know that shoppers want flexible and convenient options online, and so we are focused on providing what our customers want and need, however and wherever they choose to shop with us.”
Andrew Curtis, UK operations manager at Starship Technologies, said: “We have had very positive feedback from local communities in Northampton since starting operations there in November 2020, and today is an exciting day for Starship as we offer the benefits of autonomous grocery delivery to 33,000 more households across Northamptonshire.
“Our robots offer an environmentally friendly and convenient way of helping people with their ‘top up’ shopping and we’re confident the service will be similarly well received in North Northants.”