Drone delivery services group Wing has expanded its footprint in south-east Queensland after teaming up with DoorDash and the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) to launch a new drone hub at the Hyperdome shopping centre.
The new facility will boost Wing’s service area by nine suburbs to 17 as the company ramps up its focus on growing demand in the region after abandoning fast-food deliveries in Canberra.
Wing spokesman Jesse Suskin says the addition of Hyperdome in Logan City to the company’s existing drone hubs at Vicinity Centres’ (ASX: VCX) Grand Plaza at Browns Plains and Mirvac Group’s (ASX: MGR) Orion Springfield Central are part of a new strategy to partner with retail centres to extend its reach in the region.
“When we first started, we had our own launching facilities, which was great and worked very well, but for merchants it meant that they had to co-locate in our centres,” Suskin tells Business News Australia.
“We are now shifting to a format where we put the drones at shopping centres, working with property companies such as QIC to position drones in underutilised real estate.
“At Hyperdome, we have located our drones in an underutilised loading dock from where they will deliver for merchants at the centre which will provide access to drone delivery services for more people.”
Suskin says the new Hyperdome drone hub has boosted Wing’s coverage to a ‘wide swath’ of south-east Queensland, noting that drone deliveries are becoming popular for more than just fast food.
“A lot of our customers are families with two working parents who don’t have a lot of time. Where we do really well is for people who don’t live within walking distance of the shopping centres.
“They might have a 15 to 20-minute drive to the shopping centre to grab a quick item, but because our drones fly at very fast rate, we can get an item to a customer in a few minutes.”
Suskin says drone deliveries helped reduce the number of car trips and benefitted retail property owners by freeing up space for customers making longer shopping visits.
“It’s a great way for us to demonstrate the benefits of drone delivery and it’s great to working with DoorDash because it is a very streamlined marketplace,” he says.
While food is among the top products delivered by DoorDash, the service is facilitating services for a range of retailers.
“We are starting with a few merchants (at Hyperdome) and over the next weeks and months will add more,” Suskin says.
While Sukin concedes the popularity of drone delivery services, which are regulated by CASA, has brought more competitors to the market, Wing is still keen to expand its operations in Australia.
The US-based company, which has an extensive workforce in Australia and is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, currently provides non-consumer services in the ACT where it launched its first drone delivery operations in 2019.
The company recently ceased food delivery services in Canberra, citing a failure to find a suitable retail centre with which to partner, as it continues its focus on its south-east Queensland operations.
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