The Channel Islands Co-operative Society launches online food delivery service
The Channel Islands Co-operative is to become the first local retailer to offer a pan-island delivery service following a successful pilot scheme trialled earlier this year which supported the Guernsey and Jersey communities during lockdown.
The new venture is a joint initiative with IsleDeliver, part of Guernsey Post, which will see Islanders able to shop online through a dedicated website and have their groceries delivered within 24 hours. During the height of the pandemic, the Co-op was the first retailer in Guernsey to distribute essential food items and household products directly to homes.
Mark Cox, chief executive officer for the Society, said: ‘At the start of lockdown, we introduced a pilot scheme for essential home deliveries to support customers unable to visit their local shop, either through a lack of transport, concerns over health or for those shielding relatives, all of whom were reliant on this service to receive their groceries.
‘We were receiving up to 100 calls per day in the early weeks so partnered with the Ron Short Centre who helped distribute to the elderly and vulnerable on our behalf. Since then, we have worked hard with our partners to establish a permanent offering and support our local communities so are now immensely proud to be able to do that.’
The scheme launches today, Monday 16 November, with a range of almost 5,000 products, including bakery, cupboard staples, fresh food and laundry, along with household and pet food items. Co-op members will receive their dividend through the new initiative and the service will develop over time.
Guernsey Post is the driving force behind IsleDeliver although the new food delivery service will run independently from postal operations. The company will utilise a dedicated fleet of specialist, refrigerated vans.
Mr Cox added: ‘It is an ongoing process for us and we will develop this over time following testing and learning with customers. We will improve the functionality of the site and listen to customer feedback to improve what we are offering.’
Deliveries are scheduled between Mondays and Saturdays and all groceries distributed by a team at IsleDeliver. Orders will be fulfilled within 24 hours unless placed on a Saturday, as they will be received on the Monday.
Boley Smillie, chief executive of Guernsey Post said: ‘We are really pleased to be able to partner with the Co-op to provide a bespoke delivery solution through our IsleDeliver service.’
The Society believes it is important to support local businesses so worked closely with Jersey-based digital agency Webreality to build the platform.
Webreality director Mark Evans said: ‘The Co-op’s food delivery website marks a real milestone in Jersey retailing. As long-standing champions of local online retail, we’ve really valued being involved in the project. The Co-op is a large organisation with complex existing systems and processes. ‘We’ve enjoyed the challenge of collaborating with many others to simplify that complexity and give customers an easy way to do the weekly shop online. We look forward to helping with its ongoing development.’
Online orders can be made at www.channelislands.coop/online-groceries/