Hermes UK, which has roots in Yorkshire that can be traced back to the 1970s, is trialling a new service designed to enable independent traders at Leeds Kirkgate Market to offer a home delivery service to the local community. Deliveries will be made same day by dedicated Hermes’ employees on eco-friendly, zero emission bikes and will be free for retailers and consumers in the first phase.

Two apps to support the service have been developed by the Hermes’ Innovation Lab who are based in Leeds and are focussed on developing new products and services to drive the home delivery market forward. The app for retailers enables them to book new deliveries and track them throughout their journey. A different app for the riders shows the collections to be made, the best route to take and navigates them using cycle paths wherever possible.

Leeds Kirkgate Market has been the city’s essential shopping destination for over a century and is one of the biggest indoor markets in Europe working with local independent businesses in the city since 1857. The latest lockdown guidance has seen some of the retailers unable to trade and others suffering from reduced footfall.

Panda Refills, a zero-waste stall located in Leeds Kirkgate Market is one of the first businesses to sign up with Hermes to start the free delivery trial. Buyer at Panda Refills, Aimee Charlotte explains “This is exactly what we needed to get our products to customers who cannot come into the city centre at the moment.”

Hermes would like other traders to sign up to the service which will enable them to offer delivery to most areas within the outer ring road of Leeds city centre. Orders will be made through the traders’ own social channels, websites or by phone.

“We started designing the service last year after realising that very few local independent shops were set up to offer a delivery service. We wanted to help support the local community in which we work and where many of us live, and enable vulnerable and shielding customers, as well as those city-based office workers currently working from home. to continue to buy from their local retailers in a more sustainable way,” added Adrian Berry, Innovation Delivery Manager at Hermes UK.