Iceland will launch same-day scheduled delivery across the UK over the next few months as grocery’s rapid delivery arms race heats up.
According to The Grocer, Iceland is set to launch the service to 400 stores in the coming weeks, then across the majority of its estate by the end of the year.
It is understood that Iceland, which is now the last remaining major grocer to offer free delivery, has been trialling the service and refining the offer quietly for some time.
Rather than picking items directly from its store estate, Iceland says it is using customer fulfilment centres (CFCs) or ‘dark stores’ to fulfil orders more rapidly
“We’re finding that our CFCs offer more flexibility when trialling new services to customers, such as same-day delivery,” Iceland’s chief customer and digital officer David Devany told The Grocer.
“This allows us to optimise the operations and customer proposition before rolling it out into our main store estate.
“We’re in the midst of a trial that is starting to be rolled out on a more national scale, being introduced in the next few weeks to almost 400 stores.
“We’re confident that we now have a good formula that works for our customers, and their feedback so far has been great. Throughout this year we’ll be rolling this out to the majority of our stores and we’ll continue to make the proposition even better. We’re really excited about it.”
It comes after Waitrose announced last week that it was introducing a delivery charge to customers for the first time in its history to “bring us in line with the rest of the market” and cover the increasing costs of picking and packing.
This means that only Iceland continues to offer free delivery on order above £35, an offering which Devany believes is vital for the frozen food retailer.
“Our customers are very price-sensitive, and making their weekly grocery budget go further is really important to them, so not having to spend money on delivery can equate to an extra meal for the family,” he continued.
“We know that free delivery is a real draw for our customers because of this. Other grocery retailers have a different set of challenges but we continue to shape our offering around our customers and their needs.”