Sainsbury's has turned a convenience store at the north end of Blackfriars Bridge into a distribution hub offering deliveries by bicycle to addresses in a 3 kilometre radius, including most of SE1.
Sainsbury's has turned its Blackfriars Station convenience store in New Bridge Street, which had temporarily closed, into its first 'dark' convenience store for the trial.
Supermarkets typically use 'dark stores' – which are not open to customers – to dispatch internet orders.
Local residents who might be self-isolating or unable to get to a store will be able to order a top-up shop of up to 20 grocery products – from a range of around 400 – through Sainsbury's Chop Chop app and have them delivered to their doorstep in as little as an hour.
There is a £4.99 delivery charge but Chop Chop is currently offering a promo code (FREECHOP) which gives free delivery on an order of more than £15.
The service is currently available to Londoners living within 3km of Blackfriars Bridge, but if the offer proves popular with customers, Sainsbury's says it will roll the Chop Chop service out to other closed Local stores in cities across the UK as well as London more widely.
A 3 km circle from New Bridge Street includes nearly all of SE1 and parts of SE11, SE16 and SE17.
Sainsbury's expects to be able to serve up to 3,500 customers a week from the one store and is working with its delivery partner to recruit more riders to help deliver orders.
"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," said Clodagh Moriarty, chief digital officer at Sainsbury's.
"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."
• See www.chopchopapp.co.uk for details
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