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Following Saturday's announcement that the UK's second and third largest grocers were in advanced negotiations to merge, the two retailers have now outlined how they expect to execute combining the Sainsbury's and Asda businesses.

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Sainsbury's has become the UK's first grocer to trial electric cargo bicycles for its grocery home delivery service.

Speed and environmental advantages

The trial will test the potential for electric bikes as a more efficient way to deliver groceries to customers in congested cities and offers distinct advantages. Bikes can make use of cycle and bus lanes and can achieve point to point delivery times up to three times faster than vans, according the bike service provider e-cargobikes.com. They are also easier to park and by emitting no pollution offer obvious environmental benefits. Set against this is the limited capacity of the cargo bike - 125kg of groceries in front and rear lockable boxes. While much greater than the capacity of Sainsbury's existing Chop Chop delivery cycle courier service launched in 2016, this is clearly much less than conventional vans.

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South London trial

Based at Sainsbury's Streatham Common store in South London, a fleet of five zero emission bikes will deliver up to 100 orders per day to local online customers. Once customers have placed their online orders, Sainsbury’s will use routing technology to determine which orders are delivered by a traditional van or by electric cargo bike. The order will then be delivered during the customer’s chosen time slot by Sainsbury’s branded bikes and riders. 

Potential for wider rollout

If successful, the trial could be rolled out to further areas across the UK. Commenting on the launch, Clodagh Moriarty, Director of Online at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re delighted to be the first supermarket to trial grocery deliveries by electric cargo bikes. We’re always looking for new ways to make sure we can best serve our customers and this trial will help us explore whether there might be a more flexible way to deliver Sainsbury’s groceries to those who live in busy cities.”  

13 November, London

With the theme of SUPPLY CHAINS FOR GROWTH, the interactive programme will allow you to create a day that will give you everything you need to enhance your food and grocery supply chain.

Following a trial, Sainsbury’s is to roll out 1 hour delivery in parts of London.

Expanding to 70,000 London postcodes

Sainsbury’s began trailing its Chop Chop app last year. The service enables customers to order up to 25 products and have them delivered to their homes within an hour via bicycle for a charge of £4.99 per order. The retailer is now expanding its delivery area from Pimlico and Wandsworth to over 70,000 postcodes in London’s Zones 1 and 2 – 1.7m potential customers.

Drive for faster fulfilment

Sainsbury's move comes as Amazon Prime Now offers one hour delivery from more locations and scales up its capabilities in food retailing. It also follows the June launch of Tesco Now which provides a one hour delivery service from stores in London for flat rate £7.99 fee (or delivery within two hours for £5.99). Tesco is also soon to complete the roll out of same day delivery nationwide.

Sainsbury's has launched a trial 30 minute click & collect service using its Chop Chop app. In so doing it becomes the first UK grocer to offer a sub one hour collection option.

Extending Chop Chop

The trial will operate from the retailer's Pimlico store and enable customers to collect up to 25 items 30 minutes after placing their order. The service is being offered free of charge with customers able to collect their order by showing their order number at the store's Chop Chop desk. The service adds a new dimension to Sainsbury's existing Chop Chop one hour cycle courier delivery service which launched in June last year.

Greater flexibility

Commenting on the launch, Clodagh Moriarty, Director of Online at Sainsbury’s said: “We want to offer a customer experience that is differentiated in terms of price but also in terms of service, with complete customer autonomy and excellent flexibility. The way customers are shopping is changing as they look for faster and more convenient options and we want to continue leading the way in giving them the services they need to shop wherever and whenever they want. We were the first UK supermarket to introduce one-hour delivery last year and we’re now delighted to be the first to trial a 30 minute Click & Collect service. It’s an exciting time for the business and we hope to see a positive response from our shoppers.”

Drive for faster fulfilment

Sainsbury's move comes as Amazon Prime Now offers one hour delivery from more locations and scales up its capabilities in food retailing. It also follows the June launch of Tesco Now which provides a one hour delivery service from stores in London for flat rate £7.99 fee (or delivery within two hours for £5.99). Tesco is also soon to complete the roll out of same day delivery nationwide. Sainsbury's, meanwhile, is stepping up communication of Argos's Fast Track delivery option which allows customers near instant collection of online orders from its non-food offer.

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Sainsbury's has launched a trial 30 minute click & collect service using its Chop Chop app. This is a first for a UK grocer to offer a sub one hour collection option.

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