The Co-op is offering a free 60-minute time slot delivery service for electricals shoppers.

The group is believed to be the first electricals retailer in the UK to offer free rapid delivery and a time slot.

The initiative comes just weeks after the collapse of Comet into administration and large electricals retailers are expected to compete fiercely to mop up market share.

The Co-op’s electricals site has offered 90-minute delivery for six years. The Co-operative Group chief information officer Andy Haywood has kick-started a review of the group’s digital operations and will decide whether the retailer’s food division will branch online in the next six months.

The Co-op said a survey of more than 3,000 internet shoppers found that the number one online annoyance was not having a defined delivery time slot and that 60% of online shoppers had to ask family or friends to wait in on their behalf.

Co-op deputy group chief executive Martyn Wates 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.

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

  • The Co-operative Food is rolling out a new store design that tailors ranges to local demographics. The retailer began trialling the stores earlier this year. Head of commercial Ian Martin yesterday told the IGD Convenience Retailing Conference that the retailer would open 80 by the end of the year before rolling the feature out to 500 next year.