Wing tests drone deliveries from Qld shopping centre

Thursday, 14 October, 2021

Wing tests drone deliveries from Qld shopping centre

Australian on-demand residential drone delivery service Wing has partnered with Australian retail property group Vicinity Centres to pilot a model of delivery that flies goods from retail shopping centre rooftops to homes and businesses in Southeast Queensland. Wing and Vicinity Centres have been piloting the drone delivery service from the rooftop of Grand Plaza in Logan, Queensland, since mid-August, delivering goods on-demand from a range of businesses located at the centre directly to consumers, by drone.

Participating businesses include food and beverage outlets, Sushi Hub, Boost Juice and Chatime. Local community pharmacy TerryWhite Chemmart has also commenced offering drone delivery of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and personal care, general health and beauty products. In the first six weeks of service, Wing made more than 2500 contactless drone deliveries from Grand Plaza to customers in parts of the Logan suburbs of Regents Park, Heritage Park, Park Ridge, Browns Plains, Marsden, Crestmead and Berrinba. The service will soon be expanded to more customers and offer delivery from other businesses located at the centre.

In September 2021, Wing marked two years of drone delivery service in Logan, having made more than 50,000 drone deliveries to the local community in 2021. The introduction of this delivery model follows expansion of the service earlier this year, with Wing now offering delivery to 19 suburbs in Logan, with a combined population of more than 110,000 people. Jesse Suskin, Wing’s Head of Policy & Community Affairs, Australia, said the company is co-locating its drones with businesses at their premises, rather than local businesses having to co-locate their foods with Wing at its delivery facility.

“With the increase in consumers’ desire for convenience and speed, on-demand drone delivery can help address the costly last-mile delivery challenge, reduce road congestion and emissions, and create new economic opportunities for businesses by utilising their existing retail space as logistics hubs and fulfilment centres,” Suskin said.

Wing will continue to work with Vicinity Centres to further develop new delivery models that can complement the retail businesses located at Grand Plaza, and if successful, potentially roll out similar models in other locations across Vicinity Centres’ retail property portfolio. Vicinity’s Chief Innovation and Information Officer, Justin Mills, said the Wing drone delivery pilot helped retailers unlock the value of their physical store to optimise omnichannel retail.

“The retail industry is changing, and Vicinity is employing a test and learn approach in areas critical to the role of Australian shopping centres in the future. We believe the partnership with Wing will be an important component of our overall distribution and fulfilment strategy and support our new growth strategy,” Mills said.

Mills added that exploring new technologies like drone delivery will enable retailers to provide customers with game-changing product deliveries in minutes rather than days, while reducing their carbon footprint. “Our partnership with Wing is a natural extension of our distribution and fulfilment strategy which will help retailers use physical stores and our shopping centre network to get their products in customer hands quicker and more efficiently,” Mills said.

Image credit: Publicis Groupe

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