Co-op & Starship Technologies extend robot delivery partnership

Co-op and Starship Technologies have extended its partnership in Northampton with an additional 20,000 households in the area now able to access the service and receive convenient, on-demand grocery delivery via robots.

A further five Co-op stores across the town are now offering same-day delivery through a fleet of Starship robots, bringing the total number of households across Northampton able to access Starship’s service in the area to over 80,000.

Orders are made through the Starship food delivery app, which is available for download on iOS and Android, with groceries picked fresh in local Co-op stores - which act as micro-distribution hubs in the community - and delivered quickly and conveniently in as little as one hour or less.

Since first launching the service in Northampton in November 2020, Starship, working with the support of West Northamptonshire Council, has continued to expand its footprint and offer the ease and convenience of autonomous delivery to more local residents.

The announcement means local communities in Blackthorn, Far Cotton, Grange Park, Southfields and Thornton Park will now be able to access on-demand delivery of Co-op groceries from Starship’s robots, which are powered by zero carbon electricity.

They will join local residents across Abington, Boothville, Duston, East Hunsbury, Great Billing, Hardingstone, Hopping Hill, Kingsthorpe, Spinney Hill, Upton, Weston Favell and Wootton who can also access Starship’s service, which is now available through 11 Co-op stores across Northampton.

Chris Conway, Co-op’s Head of eCommerce, said: “Co-op is committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to our products and services. Our members and our customers lead busy lives and ease, speed and convenience is at the heart of our approach. Co-op stores are well placed, close to our customers, to serve shoppers locally.

'Orders are picked locally, in store, and a key part of our strategy is to use our physical footprint to also offer same-day, rapid, home deliveries. As a convenience retailer, the ability to come into stores is important to customers, but shoppers also increasingly want flexible options online - our focus is on getting closer to our customers and to provide what they need, conveniently, however they choose to shop with us.”

Cllr Phil Larratt, West Northamptonshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, Highways, Transport and Waste, said: “We’re delighted that the Starship robots have been rolled out to thousands more homes in Northampton, offering our residents a convenient, carbon-free way to get their groceries.

'Harnessing the latest technology and innovative schemes like this will play an increasingly important role as we look at ways of cutting emissions and making West Northants a more sustainable place to live for the future.”

Andrew Curtis, UK Operations Manager at Starship Technologies, added, 'Local residents in Northampton have embraced the benefits of contactless delivery over the last 18+ months and we are very happy to be able to offer our service to even more communities across the town from today.

'The environmental benefits of autonomous delivery are clear, and it has also been very encouraging to see how much the robots have been welcomed and integrated as part of the local community in Northampton.”

Northampton residents can choose from a range of over 2,000 grocery items, schedule their delivery, then drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent. They can watch in real-time via an interactive map as the robot makes its journey to them. Once the robot arrives, they receive an alert, and can meet and unlock it through the app.

Starship Technologies operates commercially on a daily basis around the world. Its zero-emission robots make more than 100,000 road crossings every day and have completed more than three million commercial deliveries globally, more than any other autonomous delivery provider. The robots use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around any obstacles, while computer vision-based navigation helps them map their environment to the nearest inch.