The East of England Co-operative has invested £500,000 in its new free home delivery service.

Purchasing 12 delivery vans and introduced at 18 supermarkets across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, customers must spend a minimum of £25 to qualify for the free service.

Those spending less will be charged £3.50 for delivery.

Clive Read, projects co-ordinator, said: “Our customers really appreciate the new service. It makes it easy for them to select bulky items or white goods, such as fridges or washing machines, happy in the knowledge that the product can be in their homes later that day – with no extra charges for delivery.”

Roger Grosvenor, executive-retail, added: “We’re getting great feedback from customers who are already using the service and we hope to be able to roll this out to more stores in the future.”

Stores operating under the scheme include Felixstowe, Hadleigh, Leiston, Wickham Market, Rosehill in Ipswich, Framlingham and Combs Ford in Suffolk; Stanway, Clacton, Halstead, Manningtree, West Mersea, Burnham, Brightlingsea, Abbots Road in Colchester; Frinton in Essex; and Long Stratton in Norfolk.

The service is similar to that already offered by The Co-Operative Group, with a pilot for its click&collect service trialled in one store last December.