Leeds’ famous Kirkgate Market will be home to the first trials of a new app-powered delivery service from Hermes UK, helping independent traders offer same-day delivery to their local community.
In a bid to help combat reduced footfall and increase sales, Hermes has made the eco-friendly bike delivery service available free to retailers and consumers in the first phase.
The two apps to support the service have been developed locally in Leeds by the Hermes’ Innovation Lab. The app for retailers will book and track deliveries. While a different app for the riders shows the collections to be made and the best route to follow. Cleverly, it’s been designed to prioritise cycle paths wherever possible.
Local independent businesses have been based at the Leeds Kirkgate Market – Europe’s biggest indoor market, since it opened in 1857. As with many retailers, they’ve been significantly impacted by coronavirus restrictions with many of their customers heeding the rules to stay at home.
Zero-waste stall Panda Refills is among one of the first businesses to sign up for the free delivery trial. Aimee Charlotte, buyer at Panda Refills, explained: “This is exactly what we needed to get our products to customers who cannot come into the city centre at the moment.”
Hermes is inviting more traders to sign up to the service, which will enable them to offer delivery to most areas within the outer ring road of Leeds city centre. Orders will be made through the traders’ own social channels, websites or by phone.
Adrian Berry, innovation delivery manager at Hermes UK, said: “We started designing the service last year after realising that very few local independent shops were set up to offer a delivery service. We wanted to help support the local community in which we work and where many of us live, and enable vulnerable and shielding customers, as well as those city-based office workers currently working from home. to continue to buy from their local retailers in a more sustainable way.”