New Sheffield delivery service for local shops throws pandemic-hit retailers a lifeline

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A new service is about to launch in Sheffield offering to deliver any product from any local shop – throwing pandemic-hit retailers a lifeline.

Delivery Drop goes beyond groceries and has signed scores of businesses including pharmacies, electronic shops, DIY stores and florists.

Founder Syed Sherazi said it was an outlet for retailers who had suffered a drop in footfall due to the pandemic and needed a new way to reach customers. They include Slimani Nut Store, Mitchells Wines, Abbeydale DIY, Herbarium natural remedies, Katie Peckett florists and Abbeydale Pharmacy, as well as independently-owned Londis, Premier and Go Local Extra stores.

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Mr Sherazi said they had signed more than 100 businesses and pre-registered 170 drivers ahead of launching an app in the next two weeks.

Field sales executives Jake Clough, left, and Oliver Perry of Delivery Drop.Field sales executives Jake Clough, left, and Oliver Perry of Delivery Drop.
Field sales executives Jake Clough, left, and Oliver Perry of Delivery Drop.

It follows 19 months of development, hiring a 20-strong team and investing £300,000.

He said: “I want everyone on the High Street to be able to use the app. I don’t want to leave anyone out.

“The pandemic is hard for businesses, our aim is to give them a new way to sell. Whether it’s rugs, cakes or medicine.

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“When you open a shop it has to be stocked, so we’ve signed retailers and got everything ready before we launch.

The Delivery Drop team.The Delivery Drop team.
The Delivery Drop team.

“Some are so enthusiastic and some are desperate for custom. I hope Delivery Drop can offer them a lifeline.”

Users will pay a fixed £3.99 delivery fee for shops within three miles, with goods delivered in under an hour. Retailers pay a £99 set-up fee, £200 for a tablet to upload their inventory and 10 per cent of sales.

Delivery Drop pays freelance drivers £3 per collection and 40p a mile.

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The service also aims to meet demand from locked down residents, many of whom have re-discovered local shops and been surprised at how many products they offer, he added.

A field sales team used the time between lockdowns one and two to visit shops, demo the service and sign them up.

For some retailers, it will mean they no longer have to do deliveries after closing up in the evening, he added.

The plan is to expand into Manchester and Leeds in the new year.

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“I’ve spent so much time building this, I’m confident I can give businesses what they expect. I’ve also got a fantastic team.”

Mr Syed studied computer science at the University of Sheffield before joining Plusnet in the early days under Lee Strafford where he said he “learned a lot”.

He left to set up an online computer pheripherals shop which later had to close due to a legal wrangle.

The Sherazi family owns 25 shops on Ecclesall Road, 20 on London Road and a handful on Campo Lane. It also owns Sensa Waste Solutions which rents out 3,000 bins.

Delivery Drop is partly based on Chinese-based WeChat and US-based Doordash and Instacart.

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