Vicinity advances distribution strategy with world-first shopping centres-based drone delivery

7 October, 2021
  • Partnership with Wing introduces drones capable of delivering packages up to 1.5kg in minutes

  • Partnership provides a last-mile delivery solution that is fast, inexpensive, low emissions

  • Drone delivery part of Vicinity’s broader distribution and fulfilment strategy

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Vicinity partners with Wing to roll out world-first roofotp drone deliveriesCredit: Wing

In a world-first, Vicinity has partnered with Wing – an Alphabet company – to pilot a new delivery model, flying goods from shopping centre rooftops directly to Australian customers.

Vicinity and Wing have been piloting the world-first service from the rooftop of Grand Plaza shopping centre in Logan, Queensland since mid-August 2021, completing more than 2,500 contactless deliveries to customers in nearby suburbs including Regents Park, Heritage Park, Park Ridge, Browns Plains, Marsden, Crestmead, and Berrinba.

The drone delivery service will help our retailers drive incremental sales, leveraging the value of their physical store and attracting new customers to engage with the centre.
Justin MillsVicinity Chief Innovation and Information Officer

Available within suburbs surrounding Grand Plaza, customers are able to order from the centre’s participating businesses – Sushi Hub, Boost Juice, Chatime, and Terry White Chemmart – receiving deliveries in minutes.

Vicinity’s Chief Innovation and Information Officer, Justin Mills, said the exciting new partnership formed an important part of Vicinity’s distribution and fulfilment strategy and helped retailers unlock the value of their physical store to optimise omnichannel retail.

“Research by Vicinity’s Data Science and Insights team and Quantium shows 71% of Australian retailers have adopted an omnichannel approach, and physical retail is critical to that success, driving an uplift in online market share of up to 40% from customers who live nearby,” said Mr Mills.

“The drone delivery service will help our retailers drive incremental sales, leveraging the value of their physical store and attracting new customers to engage with the centre. It also helps solve delivery-based pain points identified in our customer research.

“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 into customer hands quicker and more efficiently.”

Drone delivery will help solve delivery-based pain pointsCredit: Vicinity, Wing

Vicinity’s broad portfolio and digital expertise the foundation for innovative distribution and fulfilment strategy

This pilot delivery program is the latest project in Vicinity’s distribution and fulfilment strategy, targeted at improving the omnichannel experience of retailers and customers, and enhancing efficiency.

With almost 17m Australians (66% of the population) living within 30 minutes of one of its 61 strategically located centres, Vicinity is well-placed to rapidly scale up its drone delivery partnership and provide a solution to the challenges and the financial and environmental costs of last-mile delivery.

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.
Justin MillsVicinity Chief Innovation and Information Officer

We believe this partnership with Wing will be an important component of our overall distribution and fulfilment strategy and support our new growth strategy,” said Mr Mills.

“Exploring new technologies like drone delivery means our retailers may provide customers with game-changing product deliveries in minutes rather than days, while also reducing their carbon footprint.”

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Wing drones introduced at Grand Plaza, QLDCredit: Wing

Wing Australia Head of Policy and Community Affairs, Jesse Suskin said, “We’re delighted to explore this new model of delivery with Vicinity.

“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.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the team at Vicinity 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’s retail property portfolio.”

For the first time, we are co-locating our drones with businesses at their premises, rather than local businesses having to co-locate their goods with us at our delivery facility.
Jesse SukinWing Australia Head of Policy and Community Affairs

Customers can experience drone delivery by ordering available products from participating retailers at Grand Plaza using the Wing app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play.

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About Vicinity Centres
We are one of Australia's leading retail property groups, who are reimagining the way Australians live, work and play. We own and manage some of the most recognisable and loved retail destinations across Australia and are evolving to transform our portfolio into destinations that offer a broad selection of retail, residential, and office spaces.
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