Friday 3 June 2016 9:39 am

Whole Foods teams up with startup Quiqup to deliver groceries on demand across London

US import Whole Foods Market has entered the online grocery game – and stepped it up a notch, promising to start delivering to Londoners within a two-hour timeframe.

The upmarket grocer has partnered with startup delivery firm Quiqup to provide an online shopping service from its Kensington, Piccadilly, Fulham, Clapham Junction and Camden stores. The Stoke Newington and Richmond branches will join the scheme later this month.

Whole Foods said the new service will enable "on-the-go Londoners to have groceries and household items delivered on-demand in as little as one to two hours".

“We have seen an increased demand for faster services across all sectors including groceries," said Quiqup founder and boss Bassel El Koussa.

"We create technology in-house to transform businesses like Whole Foods Market and provide an on-demand one-stop shopping experience quickly and conveniently to customers who have busy lifestyles.”

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Customers using the new system will select their preferred store and add items to a virtual shopping cart. Those items will then be collected in-store by a Quiqup employee, then handed over to a 'Quiqee' delivery driver. Delivery costs will start from £5.50, Whole Foods said. The launch follows a pilot completed in May.

“We are delighted that our customers' appetite for the highest quality of natural and organic foods can now be met on-demand," said Whole Foods head of marketing Benjamin Woodgate.

Whole Food's foray into the grocery delivery market follows Amazon's launch of its grocery service last year. Amazon's Prime Now delivery service was made available in a selection of London postcodes last October, and has since expanded across the UK, offering customers the ability to have their items delivered within two hours of ordering.

Meanwhile, discount giant Aldi launched its online offering at the beginning of this year and its rival Lidl has also signalled an interest in the market.