The Co-operative Group is to trial a home delivery service to shoppers living and working in Manchester city centre.

The grocer already offers home delivery at 330 of its food shops in smaller towns and villages, but the Manchester trial is the first in a major city. If successful, it could be rolled out to other cities.

Shoppers who live within five miles of Co-op stores on Corporation Street and Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester will be able to have their shopping delivered free to their door if they spend £25 or more. If shoppers spend less than £25, they can still use the service for a fee of £3.

The service launches on Thursday December 9 at Piccadilly and Friday December 10 at Corporation Street.

Sean Toal, commercial director at The Co-operative Food, said: “Almost 800,000 people live in and around Manchester city centre, many of whom use public transport, bicycles or simply walk to get around. This service is ideal for those who may want to use their lunch hour to do their shopping, but don’t fancy carrying it all the way home on the bus, train or tram after a long day at work.

“Lots of shoppers like to go into a store and get ideas for what to make for dinner that evening. This service doesn’t take that away; it gives people the opportunity to pick out their own fresh ingredients, but simply removes the stress of getting it all home.

“We expect that the service will be particularly handy in the run up to Christmas when everyone is busy and time is precious.”