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Co-op partnership brings on-demand personal shopper model to UK grocery

UK convenience store chain Co-op has partnered with an Irish start-up to allow customers to order groceries to their home, bringing the on-demand personal shopper

Buymie, an Irish smartphone app, will now allow over 200,000 households across Bristol to select their full shop from local stores.

Customers can choose from around 4,000 Co-op products and receive the order in under an hour or book a slot over the next seven days.

Rather than store staff picking orders, Buymie shoppers go around the store and buy the products as a normal shopper would.

Jason Perry, Co-op head of online development, said: “Ease, speed and convenience is at the core of our approach. With customer experience and quality front of mind, our decision to partner with Buymie allows us to continue to expand access to our products online, and offer greater flexibility and choice to meet consumer needs in our communities.”

Devan Hughes, CEO of Buymie, added: ““We also offer a fully personalised shopping experience so customers never get ‘door shock’ with incorrect substitutions. A personal shopper will call them with any changes and customers will also have access to the full product assortment, with no limits on basket size.

“We have accelerated our UK expansion plans to support our retail partners in offering same-day delivery capacity, with Bristol being our first city to launch. We are investing heavily in Bristol as a community and will be creating over 200 personal shopper jobs in our first six months.”

The app uses the personal shopper model, which is popular in other European countries through the likes of Glovo but has yet to become widely used in the UK. From the retailer’s perspective, it provides a low CapEx way to reach more customers but comes at the expense of having a direct connection with the customer and the resultant data.