Press releases

Waitrose to more than double online capacity in the capital

Tuesday 24 September 2013


Grocer to open second dotcom fulfilment centre in Coulsdon London

Waitrose will more than double the number of online delivery slots available to shoppers in the capital when it opens a second e-commerce grocery depot in Coulsdon, South London.

The grocer, which currently fulfils London shoppers' orders made on Waitrose.com through a network of London branches and a dotcom fulfilment centre (DFC) in Acton, West London*, will open the second site in Autumn 2014.

The multi-million pound depot will help more than double the number of orders fulfilled in the capital by despatching up to twice as many orders per week as at Acton.

The purpose-built, six acre site will feature an 80,000 sq ft picking space - twice the size of that at Acton - and allow up to 50 per cent more items to be picked per hour and up to 50 per cent more drops per van to be made per week.

Waitrose.com delivers more than 1.5m Waitrose products and branded items to shoppers nationwide and is the fastest growing online grocery business**.

Sales within the M25 tripled last year to represent 20 per cent of all Waitrose.com sales and total ecommerce sales jumped 40.6 per cent in the first half of this year.

The second DFC will build upon the traditional 'dark store' model operated at Acton - where Partners (employees) pick products from aisles laid out like a customer-facing branch - to create efficiencies in the picking, replenishment and logistics models.

Navigation around the warehouse will be made more efficient and a self-contained chilled picking room will reduce refrigeration costs.

A redesigned fleet of vans, with on-site access to repair services and refuelling, will increase the number of deliveries made to customers on any one journey, maintain frozen food temperatures for longer, increase route efficiencies and cut transport costs.

Shoppers in the capital whose orders are fulfilled by the Coulsdon DFC will be able to choose from one-hour delivery slots between 6am and midnight and continue to get free delivery on orders over £50.

The site will create 500 jobs and key to the role of those employed at the warehouse will be carrying out Waitrose's renowned customer service in the online environment. They will ensure Waitrose.com meets specific customer requests - such as green bananas or extra thick slices of ham.

Waitrose retail director, Rob Collins, said: 'Demand from Waitrose.com shoppers in the capital has soared over the last year. Our dotcom fulfilment centre in Acton will reach capacity in 2014, and we have been looking for the right location for a second for some time.

'The DFC in Coulsdon provides the perfect, purpose-built site for us to take what we have learnt from Acton and step our online operation up a gear.'


Notes to editors

* Waitrose.com fulfils shoppers' online orders either directly from a total of 153 branches nationwide or through Acton. Separately, Ocado stocks Waitrose own-label products under a commercial agreement.

** Waitrose.com sales were up 40.6 per cent in the first half of the year compared to the total online market growth of 16.9 per cent during 28 we July 2013. (Source: Kantar Worldpanel Grocery).

  • The John Lewis Partnership has ambitious plans to create over 3,000 new Partnership jobs in London by the end of 2015, through the expansion of our Waitrose and John Lewis stores. 2014 will see up to ten more Waitrose convenience stores open in London and another store to service our online business.
  • In 2015 the John Lewis Partnership will open flagship Waitrose stores in the Battersea and King's Cross developments, plus up to ten new Little Waitrose stores and a cookery school.
  • By 2015, we will have committed to open or redevelop three John Lewis stores including redevelopment at Brent Cross which will support another 1,500 new retail jobs in the area.

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

Rob Cadwell
Waitrose Press Office
Telephone: 01344 826182
Mobil: 07764 675959
Email: rob_cadwell@waitrose.co.uk