In the first of two new initiatives Waitrose, which used bicycles and horse and carts in the early 20th century, is once again encouraging employees to return to a traditional way of delivering groceries with a specially designed eco handcart to deliver to customers' homes within a mile of the branch. The eco-cart will help boost the number of delivery slots available to customers, without increasing the number of vans on the road and can keep products frozen and chilled for up to two hours, so that they will arrive in the same excellent condition in which they left the store.
Waitrose Bury St Edmunds is the first branch to introduce the initiative. Branch Manager, Brian Cooper comments, 'At Waitrose we are always looking for new ways to reduce our impact on the environment. By returning to a delivery method reminiscent of years gone by, we are hopeful that we can keep van deliveries to a minimum. It seems that previous generations had it right after all!'
24 other Waitrose branches across England are inviting customers to combine penny saving and healthy New Year's resolutions with the introduction of cycle trailers, which will allow customers to transport their shopping home using pedal power. Equipped with large canvas shopping bags, the trailers are loaned out free of charge to any Waitrose customers who wish to use them. When a customer registers for the scheme at a shop's Welcome Desk a special bracket will be attached beneath their bicycle saddle, allowing them to clip the trailer onto their bike.
Waitrose Assistant Project Manager, Nicky Snelgrove says: 'By introducing the cycle trailers into more of our branches we hope to encourage shoppers to think about using alternative methods of transport. We're confident they will be well received as many customers already engage in other initiatives such as our Bag for Life scheme. Shoppers using the trailers will probably get their food home quicker than most, not to mention saving fuel and transport costs!'