Supermarket giant Coles will be Australia’s first major retailer to offer drone delivery directly from their store to customers' homes, launching a pilot service in South East Queensland with global on-demand drone delivery company, Wing.
From Wednesday November 2, customers in the Gold Coast suburbs of Ormeau, Ormeau Hills, and Yatala will be among the first to pilot the store-to-door drone delivery model, offering grocery delivery in minutes, directly from the Coles store at Ormeau Village Shopping Centre.
The service will gradually expand to include other nearby suburbs, delivering 500 of the most popular Coles grocery items including bread, fresh produce, convenience meals, snacks, health care items, and household essentials.
Coles is the first major Australian retailer to trial the new ‘store-to-door’ drone delivery model, with a dedicated fleet of Wing delivery drones co-located in the Coles store car park. Coles team members will process and pack orders, and Wing staff will load the drones and oversee operation of the delivery service.
Coles Head of Network Development and Customer Delivery James Geddes said Coles was proud to expand its partnership with Wing with the first-ever store-to-door drone delivery concept in Australia.
“We are delighted to be expanding our drone delivery pilot program with Wing to our Queensland customers. The service will provide a convenient and effective way of delivering everyday essentials to our customers’ homes in a matter of minutes,” Mr Geddes said.
“Customers can now get those urgent items they need in a hurry, delivered by drone, directly from the local Coles Ormeau Village store. Whether they’ve forgotten to pick up a loaf of bread or fresh milk during their weekly shop or are missing an ingredient for dinner-time meal prep or school lunches, they can now get those products delivered quickly, without having to drive to the store.
“This new service reinforces our commitment to enhancing the way our customers shop with Coles by delivering anytime, anywhere, anyhow shopping, while supporting our ambition to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket by continuing to reduce the number of trucks on the road.”
The Coles drone delivery expansion into Queensland follows a successful pilot program in Canberra earlier this year, where Coles co-located its products at Wing’s drone delivery facility. Since the Canberra pilot program began in March 2022, more than 5,000 Coles deliveries have been made through Wing, with some of the most popular items including fresh fruit, milk, bread, and eggs, along with confectionery, snacks, and cold drinks.
As part of the expansion into South East Queensland, Wing will also soon be offering Coles items for delivery from the rooftop of the Grand Plaza in Logan, where it has been operating a drone delivery service for selected on-site businesses, for just over a year.
The Gold Coast area is the third Australian region where Wing drone delivery will be available, having previously been available to residents in parts of Canberra, ACT, and Logan, QLD, since 2019.
Wing Australia General Manager, Simon Rossi, said the company is investing in a range of pilot programs, designed to help enable drone delivery at scale, and bring delivery to more Australians.
“We’re excited to be teaming up with Coles on this Australian first store-to-door drone delivery service, helping to expand the delivery options available to Coles customers by bringing affordable, sustainable, and fast drone delivery to the skies of South East Queensland,” Mr Rossi said.
“Since launching our drone delivery service in Logan a few years ago, we’ve heard from customers across South East Queensland who are keen to see drone delivery expand to their region. We’re delighted that through this pilot program with Coles, for the first time, drone delivery will be available to residents in the City of Gold Coast.”
Customers can download the Wing app (available from the App Store or Google Play), enter their address, and add items to their cart before submitting their order for fulfilment. Upon arrival, the drone hovers in the air and slowly lowers the package to the ground at the customer’s delivery location for a contactless delivery. Wing drone delivery from Coles in Ormeau will be available from 9am to 4:30pm Tuesday to Sunday
AUSTRALIA, THE DRONE DELIVERY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
● Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet, is the world’s first on-demand drone delivery service direct to homes and businesses. Available on three continents, Wing works with businesses and major global partners to deliver food, goods, medicine, and parcels via drone.
● After a decade of development, testing, and trials, 2021 was the year that drone delivery took off. Wing saw a 600% increase in deliveries worldwide in 2021 over 2020, and strong demand for drone delivery has continued in 2022. Wing has already made more than 120,000 deliveries in Australia this year.
● Wing’s drones are custom-designed to deliver packages safely, reliably and very quickly. Once a customer submits an order the drone flies to pick up the package, and proceeds to the designated delivery destination in several minutes. Once at the customer destination, the drone slows down, hovers, descends to a delivery height of about 7 metres above ground, lowers the package to the ground on a tether and automatically releases the package in the desired delivery area. The drone does not land and there is no need to unclip or assist with the delivery of the package. The drone then returns to the delivery facility.
● The Wing drone has a wingspan of 1.3 metres, weighs about 5 kgs and travels at a speed of around 110km/h.