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Coles teams up with Wing to pilot drone deliveries in Australia's capital

Selected customers in the ACT can now opt to have drones drop off their grocery essentials, including toilet paper.
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Written by Aimee Chanthadavong on
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Image: Coles

Australian grocery giant Coles is partnering with Wing to offer contactless drone delivery service to customers in the ACT.

Customers will be able to order over 250 grocery items via the Wing app, including bread, fresh produce, snacks, convenience meals, health care items, kitchen essentials, and even toilet paper. There will be no minimum spend or delivery fee.

The pilot will initially be available to some customers based in Crace, Palmerston, Franklin, Harrison, Mitchell, Giralang, and Kaleen. It will operate from 8am to 4.30pm on weekdays and 9am to 4pm on weekends.

On arrival at its destination, the drone will slow down, hover, and descend to a delivery height of about seven metres above ground, lower the package on a tether, and automatically release the package in the desired delivery area.

"We are passionate about finding innovative ways to help our customers to shop with us and we aim to deliver anytime, anywhere, anyhow shopping," Coles e-commerce chief executive Ben Hassing said.

"By partnering with Wing, we're able to offer our online customers another convenient option to purchase the Coles items they know and love and get them delivered straight to their door."

Coles is the latest partner to sign up with Wing, which has also been running drone delivery pilots in southeast Queensland. Earlier last month, the Alphabet-owned subsidiary partnered with KFC to run a trial delivering a range of Kentucky Fried Chicken menu items to a "small number" of households in Kingstone, Logan Central, Slacks Creek, Underwood, and Woodridge.

Wing also ran a pilot with Australian retail property group Vicinity Centres where it offered drone delivery for goods purchased from participating businesses at Grand Plaza in Logan.

According to Wing, these trials have contributed to helping the company surpass 200,000 customer deliveries globally.

"In the last year, we've seen a significant increase in use of our on-demand drone delivery service, with many customers finding the service especially useful as they stayed home, and relied on our contactless delivery service to deliver the items they needed," Wing Australia managing director Simon Rossi said.

"Wing made more than 100,000 deliveries in Australia in 2021, and strong demand for drone delivery has continued in 2022. Wing has already made more than 30,000 deliveries in Australia this year."  

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