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Co-op pens Amazon deal but bemoans HGV driver shortage in UK

Co-op pre-tax profit down by 38%

Co-op has reached an agreement with Amazon to begin robot deliveries as part of a plan to increase its online sales to £200m before the end of 2021.

The UK supermarket company confirmed the deal with the US tech giant that will allow Prime customers to purchase food from co-op which could then be delivered on the same day.

The service will first be rolled out in Glasgow and nearby before spreading to the rest of the UK before the end of the year.

“We are delighted to be working with Amazon. Its reach and leading technology and innovative approach means greater convenience for people in their communities,” Steve Murrells, group chief executive, said.

Co-op just reported a 3.2% fall in its H1 sales to £5.2bn following a busy period in the market a year prior.

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Profits before tax were down by 38%, from £78m to £44m, while the firm recorded an underlying loss of £15m.

The supermarket chain also drew attention to the shortage of truck drivers in the UK, pleading for government intervention.

“This won’t be solved in isolation, this is a global issue where the supply chain has completely broken down,” Chief Executive Steve Murrells told Reuters on Thursday.

“You can’t solve (a shortage of) 90,000 HGV drivers in isolation, it needs a structural change,” he said.

Co-op is expecting its full-year profits to be reduced due to the HGV driver shortage that is impacting the UK supply chain.

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