It’s been more than 130 years since Sainsbury’s first offered a home delivery service by bicycle, but now the retailer is preparing to trail the service again to rival other major supermarket delivery services including Amazon Prime Now.
The supermarket has developed an app called Chop Chop, an on-demand grocery delivery service where shoppers can order up to 20 items to be delivered within an hour.
Sainsbury’s has been testing the service in Wandsworth, South London, but now plans to add 35,699 more postcodes to its app and begin operating the service from its Pimlico store.
The retailer has recruited a team of 40 shoppers and cyclists who will receive the information on an app and shop for the products and will then be delivered by bicycle. Customers are able to pay for their order via the app and can also track their orders. If the product isn’t in stock the shopper will call the customer and ask them if they want a substitute item.
The new service will rival other major supermarkets also trailing same-day delivery in a few locations, such as Tesco. One of Sainsbury’s biggest competitors will be Amazon’s Prime Now one-hour delivery service which began almost a year ago.
The service first launched providing customers with frozen and chilled goods in a number of cities including London, Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool, but has since expanded to fresh food deliveries including fruit, vegetables and meat after Morrisons agreed to supply Amazon with groceries in June.
Jon Rudoe, Sainsbury’s director of digital and technology said: “This trial is part of our strategy to give our customers more options to shop with us whenever and wherever they want. Speed of delivery is important to some customers, so we have brought back our bicycle service to test demand further.
“In Wandsworth customers are using the new one hour delivery service to buy forgotten items, or emergency goods when they cannot leave their home, or have invited guests on the spur of the moment.”
Sainsbury’s first offered home delivery from its Croydon Branch in 1882, where customers had to place orders at the store which were then delivered by carts, pulled by horses, or even delivered by hand. Bicycles and tricycles came in to use at the turn of the century and in 1915 Sainsbury's purchased its first Model T Ford van.
Mr Rudoe added: “If [the service] proves popular we might introduce it to other areas of London. It complements our same day delivery service which is available at selected London postcodes through our online groceries service.”