Sainsbury’s has converted one of its stores into a distribution centre for bicycle deliveries, in the latest move by a supermarket to meet surging demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grocer is using its store in Blackfriars in the City of London, which had temporarily closed amidst lower footfall during the UK’s lockdown, as a “dark” convenience store to deliver basic goods via bicycle couriers.
Customers within 3km of the site will be able to order top-up orders of up to 20 items through the Chop Chop mobile application and receive them within one hour. They can choose from around 400 essential grocery and household products.
The supermarket expects to be able to serve up to 3500 customers per week from the store. If the offer is popular, it may expand to other UK cities.
The news comes as Sainsburys revealed it had expanded its delivery capacity to 472,000 orders per week and was now offering 100,000 weekly click and collect slots.
Clodagh Moriarty, chief digital officer at Sainsbury’s said: “Demand for home delivery has reached unprecedented levels and we are doing all we can to find new ways to serve more of our customers.
“We are pleased to use our Chop Chop service as an extension of our groceries online offer to enable our customers to quickly get food and other essential items delivered to their homes.
“While we are starting the trial in London we hope to be able to bring this fast delivery service to other cities in the UK very soon.”
Cyclists are proving a popular delivery method for supermarkets during the crisis, with DIA working with on-demand courier app Glovo in Spain.