Waitrose expands Deliveroo trial

Waitrose is expanding its on-demand grocery trial with Deliveroo to 25 new shops across the UK to meet demand, after six weeks of a 12-week trial.

Launched last month in five shops, the pilot scheme will - from 20 October - include Winchester, Hereford, Brighton, Glasgow and Solihull, among others.

This means 3.1 million households across the UK will now be able to get Waitrose products delivered in as little as under 30 minutes.

The trial partnership is proving popular with Deliveroo customers. Sales at the original five shops have grown continually since the launch with half of orders being made by repeat customers.

The extended trial is expected to continue until the end of November in order to understand the potential for future growth. Waitrose is also in discussions with Deliveroo about joint community initiatives.

Waitrose has also added an additional 150 products, including a wider range of ready meals and health and beauty lines to the Deliveroo menu, taking the total number of products on the Deliveroo app to more than 650.

The relationship with Deliveroo is part of the ambitions set out in the John Lewis Partnership’s strategic update in July. It intends to look at commercial partnerships to allow Waitrose to grow efficiently and give customers more convenient access to its products.

A wider statement on the strategic plan explained that it aims to see the John Lewis Partnership reach £400 million profit by year five, with the expansion of digital, virtual and delivery services to get closer to customers.

Deliveroo, which works with 44,000 restaurants and 35,000 riders in the UK, has seen rapid growth and expansion in on-demand convenience and grocery delivery during COVID lockdown. It recently doubled the size of a similar delivery trial with Aldi.

The Deliveroo service complements Waitrose’s two-hour home delivery service, Waitrose Rapid, which now has over 37,000 customers - a fourfold increase compared to pre-COVID.

Additionally, Waitrose.com provides online access to a full-shop range and now offers over 190,000 weekly slots, compared to 60,000 before the pandemic; with plans underway to increase capacity to 250,000 weekly slots.

James Bailey, executive director for Waitrose, said: “We know that our customers are continually looking for more convenience and flexibility and, at the six shops so far, they are really appreciating the chance to get what they need when they need it.

"Expanding the trial will test the potential for an on-demand service in a much broader range of locations.”

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