Nurofen on call: Ampol and Uber Eats to deliver OTC drugs

Ampol, the former Caltex Australia, has tied up with Uber Eats to deliver over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals such as Panadol from its Caltex petrol stations to households in a move intended to resonate with people staying at home during the pandemic.

Deliveries of the products such as Nurofen and Advil are to be made from Caltex stores in under 30 minutes on average, with the service available in Foodary sites or on the Uber Eats app. The service, which is limited to two items per order to those 18 or older, is not available in NSW.

The service is a “a natural extension” of the company’s capability to deliver more convenience to consumers, said Joanne Taylor, Ampol’s executive general manager for convenience retailing.

Ampol is in the middle of a rebrand of its Caltex petrol station network after Chevron ended its licensing deal over the Caltex name, forcing also a complete change of its corporate name.

Chevron, a former 50 per cent owner of the Australian fuels supplier, is set to readopt the Caltex name at its newly acquired network of stations from Puma Energy in Australia, once Ampol’s right to use the name finally expires in about 2 1/2 years.

As most of Ampol’s petrol stations are still branded Caltex – as the rollout of the rebrand is in its early stages – the brand used in the Uber Eats app and at Foodary remains “Caltex”.

The link-up represents a further broadening of the services available at Foodary stores, where the provision of fresh food, prepared meals, coffee, dry cleaning, parcel pick-up and other services have been added in recent years. Other petrol station owners such as BP have been making similar moves to enhance their convenience retailing business.

Ms Taylor said the new service to deliver essential pharmaceuticals was expected to be welcomed by customers in the last month of the southern hemisphere winter and with the “new retail normal” of increased hygiene and reduced human touch points following the onset of COVID-19.

Uber Eats and Ampol already have food, snacks, coffee, beauty products and general groceries available through their delivery partnership.

Extracted from AFR

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