British consumer Co-operative Group Co-op is trialling an external service hatch at its store on Lewes Road in Brighton, UK.

The hatch is intended to allow shoppers who are in a rush to collect orders placed online without the need to visit the store and queue.

Co-op said the hatch will improve the shopping experience for customers, reduce queues and make Click and Collect more convenient.

The group’s store in Brighton is one of its busiest in the UK for Click and Collect orders made through both the company’s online platform and the Deliveroo mobile app.

Co-op e-commerce director Chris Conway said: “Making shopping quick, easy and convenient for our members and customers is at the very heart of our approach.

“We know that as a convenience retailer, the ability to come into stores is important to customers, but we also know that shoppers want flexible options online and the ability to shop with speed.

“Our new trials will not only speed up Click and Collect but also reduce queuing times for those who shop in-store, supporting our goal of providing what our customers want and need, however or wherever they choose to shop with Co-op.”

Co-op launched its online offer in 2019 and expects to offer a Click and Collect service at nearly 2,000 of its stores by the end of this year.

In addition to its online shop, the retailer has partnered with Deliveroo and Amazon Prime to expand its online growth, as well as trial autonomous robot deliveries with Starship Technologies.

Last month, Co-op reported total group revenues of £11.2bn ($14.59bn) for 2021, representing a slight decline from £11.5bn ($14.9bn) in 2020.

The figure was impacted by disruptions to the group’s supply chain and food system transformation in the second half of the year.