Co-op to partner with Uber to deliver ‘quick commerce’ food deliveries

Co-op food store

The Co-op has insisted it will ensure its delivery suppliers treat their people fairly after launching a new partnership with Uber to deliver groceries bought via Co-op’s own online shop delivered locally through Uber Eats’ network.

A spokesperson for Co-op, said: “We pride ourselves on treating our colleagues fairly and we have the same expectations of our suppliers and partners, regularly seeking assurances about employment models, pay and conditions in place.”

The drive behind the partnership is clearly to offer speed to customers in what the Co-op calls “the quick commerce market”.

The Manchester=headquartered Co-op proudly boasts it is founded on a set of values and principles describing a “different, fairer and better way of doing business”.

The deal today (Tuesday, 5 March) announces expanded access to its own online shop, accessed via the Co-op app, through a new partnership with Uber Direct, Uber’s white-label delivery solution.

Uber Direct enables Co-op customers to order groceries via Co-op’s own online shop – – with delivery sorted locally through the Uber Eats’ delivery network.

The convenience retailer says it has grown its ecommerce business “at pace” through both its own online shop and strategic partnerships. 

It boasts that the trial with Uber Direct will initially enable an additional 50 Co-op stores to offer “quick and convenient online home delivery” as Co-op aims to the reach of its own online shop to around 1,000 Co-op stores by the end of the year.

Chris Conway

Chris Conway, Co-op’s eCommerce Director, said: “We have ambitious goals for the continued growth of our ecommerce business, and know that our member-owners and customers value the ease and convenience of quick and convenient online home delivery. Innovation and effective partnerships are a fundamental part of our approach as we grow the reach of both our own online shop, and our work with strategic partners – offering our member-owners and customers in more communities an extensive range of groceries on-demand from Co-op’s stores locally.”

Caroline Varga, Head of Uber Direct, said: “We’re proud to work with Co-op to build on its relationship with Uber, and support its work to grow its online delivery service to its member-owners and customers. Our shared focus on speed, reliability and convenience supports Co-op’s growth ambitions to offer food and drink on-demand from more of its stores via Co-op’s own website or app.”

In addition to its own online shop, groceries are available from local Co-op stores through partners: Amazon; Deliveroo; Just Eat; Uber Eats and, autonomous robot deliveries via Starship Technologies.

The partnership comes just three weeks after a Valentine’s Day strike which followed a November court ruling that concluded food delivery riders cannot be classed as “workers”, after a seven-year legal battle by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB). This ruling means these workers don’t have the right to form a union.

Research by the Impact Policies think tank estimates pay for delivery workers has been declining and riders only get paid after deliveries are made.

Additionally, data from the Rodeo app, which compiles earnings information from thousands of couriers across various delivery companies, shows an overall decrease in earnings for these workers in 2022 and 2023, despite high inflation during this period.