The service is open to all customers, not just vulnerable or self-isolating people
There will be a £4.99 delivery fee for customers not signed up to the Deliveroo Plus service
It comes as supermarkets struggle to cope with soaring demand for online delivery slots
Morrisons has signed a deal with Deliveroo to start deliveries by bicycle and motorbike from more than 130 stores, as retailers look to tackle the online grocery gridlock caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
The service will start today with a range of 70 essential household items delivered in as little as 30 minutes.
While particularly suitable for vulnerable people and families stuck in lockdown, the service is also open to any other customers who want to use it.
The supermarket was already in talks with Deliveroo about expansion of their links. The pair launched deliveries by bicycle from a new Canning Town store last year, following Morrisons’ break from its exclusive deal with Ocado.
However, the coronavirus crisis has led to a faster rollout, which will see the service reach one in four (6.8 million) UK households.
Morrisons said the items would be priced the same as in stores, though there would be a £4.99 delivery fee for customers not signed up to the Deliveroo Plus service.
It said the service was aimed at “families now staying at home and those unable to order speedy delivery from supermarkets due to high demand”.
Deliveroo riders will leave the groceries at customers’ doors, minimising person-to-person contact.
Last week Potts revealed Morrisons had already increased the number of delivery slots for its online service by 60%. However, supermarkets have failed to cope with soaring demand for slots and many have urged shoppers to go to stores rather than order online, if they are fit and well.
Today Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said that online capacity in the supermarkets would not be the answer to feeding the nation, despite Tesco having increased its slots by 20%, from 660,000 deliveries to 805,000 a week in the past two weeks. It plans to take them to over a million in the weeks to come.
However, industry sources suggest supermarkets working with third-party delivery companies could become a huge feature of UK shopping as a result of the crisis.
“Our partnership with Deliveroo will help us to continue to play our full part in feeding the nation,” said Morrisons CEO David Potts.
“Customers will be able to order essential products from Morrisons biked by Deliveroo to the door in as little as under 30 minutes. It’s a great combination of traditional and modern methods and it will provide more vulnerable people with the opportunity to receive their home delivery.”
Ajay Lakhwani, Deliveroo vice president of new business, said: “With families and vulnerable people in isolation, it is more important than ever that we make sure they have access to the essential household items they need. During this worrying period we want to play our role in making sure people have access to a range of items, in particular the vulnerable who cannot leave their homes.”