Online delivery giant Deliveroo said this morning it will soon be able to deliver a raft of products, from printer cartridges to bestselling novels, to customers in under 20 minutes.
The company has joined forces with WHSmith as it continues to expand further from its traditional takeaway delivery business.
It is Deliveroo’s first major leap into general merchandise although the company has rapidly grown its retail operation since the pandemic struck, linking up with supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
WHSmith is launching the partnership on Tuesday in Reading, Berkshire, and will roll this across nine more stores over the next week, covering Richmond, south-west London, Muswell Hill, north London, Chiswick, west London, Brighton, East Sussex, Cambridge, Oxford, Leeds, West Yorkshire, St Albans, Hertfordshire, and Guildford in Surrey.
The trial will offer about 600 WHSmith products to customers.
This will include stationery and home-working equipment, children’s revision guides, technology accessories including airpods and best-selling books.
It comes after the retailer suffered a tough 2021 as its airport and train station stores continued their recovery following the heavy impact of the pandemic.
Sean Toal, managing director at WHSmith High Street, said: “We’re always exploring new ways to delight our customers both in store and online by providing them with an exceptional shopping experience.
“We’re really excited to be partnering with Deliveroo for this trial which will complement our existing offer and enable our customers to receive the products that they want and need from us as fast as possible from their local store direct to their door; whether that’s a greetings card, working from home essentials, a last-minute gift or a newly released book.”
Carlo Mocci, chief business officer for UK & Ireland at Deliveroo, said: “We are delighted to announce a new partnership with WHSmith in 10 stores across the country.
“WHSmith is the UK’s leading stationery retailer and the top consumer choice for high-quality and popular products for the whole family.
“This partnership will further increase the choice and selection of on-demand convenience products for our consumers, delivered in as little as 20 minutes, and will create more work for riders across the UK.”