In 1997, a Bicycle Home Delivery Service was introduced in Burgdorf, a municipality in Switzerland near Bern. Customers may do their shopping;however they can leave their purchased goods in the supermarket and receive them within 3 hours when they are delivered directly to their flat. This service gives the customers the opportunity to walk or cycle to the supermarket without worrying about how to carry heavy products. Based on the model of Burgdorf 12 new home delivery services have been implemented in all over Switzerland.
Background & Objectives
The vast majority of people do their shopping by car, although they live close to a supermarket. The only reason for this is that the bought products are often of an inconvenient size in order to put them into a bicycle basket. The Home Delivery Service in Burgdorf is therefore the perfect alternative to car use. It enables the customers not only to leave their car at home and cycle or walk instead but also to gain free time, by not having to carry around the goods.
The Bicycle Home Delivery Service follows a simple pattern. The customer leaves the products at the pay desk or at a special counter and signs a delivery note. The shop then contacts the delivery service and the products are brought directly to the customer's home within at least 3 hours. Electro bicycles with trailers are used for this delivery service.
Purchasers pay with tickets that can be obtained for 3 Swiss Francs each in one the 40 participating shops. The annual ticket costs 150 Swiss Francs. The Service also offers to take away empties and old technical devices for the same prize.>What makes the Delivery Service especially interesting is that the campaign was combined with a welfare program. Most of the employed deliverers are long-term unemployed. With the help of the Home Delivery Service, they got the chance to re-enter the labour market.
Following its three principles: deliver goods in a practical, ecologically and socially friendly way and strengthen the local shops, the Home Delivery Service could increase the number of deliveries each year. In 1998, there were around 4,000 deliveries, this number rocketed to over 25,000 in 2010 in a small city with 15,000 inhabitants. The most productive day was so far recorded on the 23rd of December 2010 with 167 deliveries. The monthly average is today stated to be around 2,000. An evaluation of the year 2002 showed that 21% of all customers in Burgdorf changed from driving the car to walking and/or cycling. The concept was now also exported successfully to 12 small and big Swiss cities including Zürich and Geneva. Due to its sustainable approach and benefits for a broad range of local actors (end-consumer, shops, supermarkets, local government, social integration program, city marketing) the concept of Home Delivery Services became a success story throughout Switzerland.