The Co-op has announced a new change to its delivery system, and says it will be the first UK supermarket to launch ‘walking deliveries’ for households and workplaces up to a 15-minute walk from its stores.

This is expected to be in place at aroud 200 stores this year, after it was successfully trialled in Cornwall.

The rollout is likely to include smaller towns and rural villages often considered ‘offline’ by rapid home delivery providers who focus on urban areas, said the Co-op.

The company also unveiled plans to grow its online business by a further 50% to £300 million by the end of this year, with online services now available at more than 2,000 of its stores in towns, villages and cities.

Bournemouth Echo: The new delivery system will be in place at around 200 stores this year (PA)The new delivery system will be in place at around 200 stores this year (PA)

The Co-op added that increased use of robots also forms part of its plans, with the autonomous home delivery robots taking to the streets of Cambridge for the first time this week in partnership with Starship Technologies.

Co-op robot deliveries are now a familiar sight in Milton Keyes, where they were first launched, and Northampton.

Chris Conway, Co-op’s ecommerce director, said: “Making shopping quick, easy and convenient for our members and customers is at the very heart of our approach.

“Our aim is to be the most convenient home delivery service and we continue to innovate to meet the needs of consumers.”