Supermarket Sainsbury’s is taking on Amazon by offering a one-hour delivery of goods, via a courier on a bicycle.
The service, accessed through an app called Chop Chop, offers delivery of up to 20 items for a flat fee of £4.99.
It has been trialled in the Southwest London area of Wandsworth since June, and will be rolled out to 35,699 other London postcodes in due course.
Amazon launched one-hour delivery of items in London in June 2015 and has since been rolling out the service to other parts of the country.
Jon Rudoe, Sainsbury’s director of digital and technology, said Wandsworth customers had used the one hour delivery service to buy forgotten items or emergency goods when they could not leave their home or had invited guests on the spur of the moment.
“This trial is part of our strategy to give our customers more options to shop with us whenever and wherever they want," he said. "Speed of delivery is important to some customers, so we have brought back our bicycle service to test demand further.
“If it 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.”
Sainsbury’s has recruited a team of 40 shoppers and cyclists to run the service. As soon as an order is placed, Sainsbury’s colleagues in either its Wandsworth or Pimlico store will receive the information on an App and shop for the products, then another Sainsbury’s colleague will deliver the order by bicycle. Customers pay via the App, and can track their order.
Sainsbury’s first offered home delivery by bicycle 130 years ago in 1882. Customers at the company’s Croyden store had to place orders at the store which were then delivered by carts, pulled by horses, or even delivered by hand
In July, a service called NearSt launched offering independent bookshops the opportunity to deliver to customers within an hour.