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Co-operative launches market first with free 60 minute time slot delivery service

As on-line electrical websites use the cheap airline tactic of charging extra for add-ons, such as delivery charges which only appear at checkout, The Co-operative will lead the way for consumers by introducing a new ground-breaking free 60 minute time slot delivery service* today (Friday 16 November 2012).

The new, free offering – from The Co-operative Electrical, part of The Co-operative Group** – has been unveiled in the run up to Christmas, and is available on all items, from iPods to 50” TV’s and from toasters to American Fridge Freezers. The business is the first electrical retailer in the UK to offer free rapid delivery and a free time slot on all products big and small, a service unmatched across the industry.

A survey of more than 3,000 internet shoppers*** found that the number one online annoyance was not having a defined delivery time slot (top with 90 per cent of respondents).  The research – conducted by The Co-operative Electrical – showed that home shoppers waste an average of five days a year waiting for delivery of products bought over the Internet, while a defined slot costs them more money.

The survey also found that 60 per cent of online shoppers had to ask family or friends to wait in on their behalf, whilst half of all those surveyed objected to paying for home delivery.

Martyn Wates, Deputy Group Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group, said: “The purchasing of electrical products online is becoming more and more like buying cheap airline tickets with retailers falling over themselves to find creative ways of adding extra charges, which mean the final cost is often significantly higher than the advertised starting price.

“This is particularly the case when it comes to deliveries with most retailers charging extra to get anything other than an unspecified day and time in a few weeks time.

“Most consumers do not have the luxury to be in whenever the on-line retailer dictates and so end up paying unnecessary extra charges for the convenience of a defined day of delivery.

“With our new service you get free delivery on the day of your choice and we will even let you know the exact hour it will arrive.”

He added: “Consumer confidence is at an all time low, particularly within the electrical sector, but our customers can shop with the knowledge that their purchase will be safe and that they are guaranteed not to get any nasty surprises as they check out – as all delivery options are free.”

Most retailers will offer free standard delivery, via the postal service, on small items, but cannot guarantee when delivery will take place (generally two – five days).  For larger items, a specified day of delivery with a chosen delivery slot incurs a charge. Free delivery is available on many large items, but the buyer cannot specify the delivery day (usually between 2-5 days).

Among mainstream online electrical retailers, delivery costs range from nothing – this is generally only available when the spend exceeds a certain amount (around £50) – to as much as £19 to deliver larger items.

No business, apart from The Co-operative, offers a free, time-specific delivery slot and courier service on all items.

How the service works:

Shoppers are provided with available delivery days and choose the day they wish to receive the item. Then they will get a text or an e-mail before 6pm the previous day giving them details of their 60 minute time slot.  On smaller items this message is sent the morning of the delivery.  They can then either accept the delivery time (by doing nothing), or reply to the text to change the delivery date

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