Waitrose prepares for life without Ocado

As Waitrose advances plans to split from Ocado, the grocery chain is adding delivery services to 24 more stores.

Ocado is to move from Waitrose to Marks & Spencer on 1st September. Waitrose however has however described the move as “the single biggest growth opportunity for our business”

Currently, Waitrose reaches 84% of active postcodes with its online delivery option. As well as the 24 new stores about to begin deliveries, the partnership said that it is extending order capacity at the shops that already do online delivery.

As part of this Waitrose is about to open a 110,000 square foot customer fulfilment centre in Enfield to serve Greater London.

Ben Stimson, digital director at Waitrose, said: “September offers the single biggest growth opportunity for our business and we’re investing heavily to achieve it.

“We’re not starting from scratch – Waitrose.com is growing significantly ahead of the market and we already deliver to tens of thousands of customers each week, added to the millions who visit our shops.

“We have robust plans in place to extend our reach ahead of September. We have significant investment planned for the coming months across our infrastructure, website and service – creating more delivery slots and employing a fleet of new drivers.

“Adding online capability to these 24 more of our shops will mean we can reach even more of the country – we already deliver to 84% of UK postcodes and this is growing all the time. Our teams at head office are working across our website and apps to make our service better, faster and more convenient. And our chefs and product developers will be launching or redeveloping more than 5,000 of our own label products this year.

“We are well prepared for the boost in demand and capacity has already been tested with our busiest ever online order week – the week before Christmas in 2019,” he said.