The high street retailer said it will offer as many as 600 products for fast-track home delivery in as little as 20 minutes, including best-selling novels, stationery, printer ink, phone chargers and airpods, toys and children’s exam study guides.
It follows the likes of supermarkets and pharmacies partnering with delivery companies in recent years, in a bid to grasp more market share and keep up with rising competition.
WHSmith’s website, which saw sales rocket during the COVID-19 pandemic, already offers next day delivery to homes or for collection in stores.
However, the business suffered a tough year in 2021 as its airport and train station outlets continued their recovery following the impact of national lockdowns.
Deliveries will be trialled in just 10 stores, starting in Reading in Berkshire on Tuesday, and with Brighton, Cambridge, Guildford, Leeds, Oxford and St Albans beginning next week, as well as Chiswick, Muswell Hill, and Richmond in London.
Shares in Deliveroo jumped more than 6% in London on the back of the news, while WHSmith was 1.2% higher.
“We’re always exploring new ways to delight our customers both in store and online by providing them with an exceptional shopping experience,” Sean Toal, managing director of WHSmith’s high street business, said.
“We’re really excited to be partnering with Deliveroo for this trial which will complement our existing offer and enable our customers to receive the products that they want and need from us as fast as possible from their local store direct to their door; whether that’s a greetings card, working from home essentials, a last-minute gift or a newly released book.”
Carlo Mocci, chief business officer for UK & Ireland at Deliveroo, said: “WHSmith is the UK’s leading stationery retailer and the top consumer choice for high-quality and popular products for the whole family.
“This partnership will further increase the choice and selection of on-demand convenience products for our consumers, delivered in as little as 20 minutes, and will create more work for riders across the UK.”
Deliveroo has already partnered with Morrisons, Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L), Tesco (TSCO.L), Waitrose, and the Co-op, covering around 6,000 grocery stores across the UK and Ireland. It also delivers for Majestic Wine and Lloyds Pharmacy.