thursday 16 may 2019

  • Waitrose and TDP sign outline agreement to develop three new Customer Fulfilment Centres (CFCs) with state-of-the-art technology
  • Ben Stimson moving from Retail Director to new role of Digital Director  

Waitrose & Partners today announces plans to treble the size of its successful online grocery operation to a £1bn business over the next three years, working in partnership with Today Development Partners (TDP).

The move with TDP, which is headed by Jonathan Faiman and Mo Gawdat, will accelerate the development of Waitrose.com through a significant increase in capacity and automation and will  see a rapid step change in Waitrose.com’s online and digital capabilities. Together, Waitrose.com and TDP plan to develop three state-of-the-art automated Customer Fulfilment Centres (CFCs) while harnessing cutting edge technical capabilities to deliver an outstanding online customer experience.

The Waitrose.com service is currently provided through a combination of from-branch deliveries, and through the Coulsdon Fulfilment Centre, opened in 2015 - as well as via a planned second CFC to serve the North London area.

To lead this growth in online, Ben Stimson - currently Retail Director - has been appointed to the new role of Digital Director with immediate effect. Ben will work across all areas of Waitrose & Partners to lead the delivery of the growth in capacity and sales of Waitrose.com and will manage the new relationship with TDP. The role will build on his previous role, where in addition to holding responsibility for shops and contact centres, Ben led market-beating online growth and significant increases in customer satisfaction. He will make digital integral to the business with the aim of making it easy for customers to shop in the way that suits them - barriers between online and offline shopping will disappear.

Rob Collins, MD of Waitrose & Partners, commented: "Waitrose.com is a popular and efficient home delivery service that is already growing strongly ahead of the market.  The plans announced today represent a clear commitment to achieve rapid step-change in Waitrose.com’s capacity and capability as we build a modern, well-invested digital business that is fit for the future.  

"The development of our new Customer Fulfilment Centres will triple our delivery capacity, bringing our well-loved service and delicious food to more customers across the UK and setting Waitrose.com on the path to becoming a £1 billion turnover business."

Jonathan Faiman, Co-founder and CEO of Today Development Partners said: “I am more excited about this new venture than anything I’ve done in my career. I am delighted and privileged to be back within the John Lewis Partnership family and we will deliver for Waitrose.com customers the world’s best digital home delivery service.”

Mo Gawdat, chief business officer of TDP and former chief business officer of Google X, the innovation arm of Google, said: “What we're aiming to build is the kind of platform that touches everyone's life. With the advancement in technology and with Waitrose.com as our partner we aim to make the experience of using this technology a great experience for the customer.”



  • Waitrose.com delivery service was launched in 2000 and is growing at nearly five times the market.
  • Online grocery market growth is 3.2% (Kantar data, 52 weeks to 27 Jan 2019).  Waitrose.com online grocery business grew by 14.2% in the same period.
  • Around £80m has been invested in Waitrose.com over the last five years.
  • The Waitrose.com service is provided through a combination of from-branch deliveries, and through the Coulsdon Fulfilment Centre, opened in 2015
  • Customer satisfaction with Waitrose.com increased during the year ended 27 January 2019: fulfilment up by 5% and website functionality by 6% compared to 2017/18. This builds on increases of 6% and 5% (respectively) in the previous year, 2016/17.
  • Waitrose.com delivery is free on orders of £60 or more.

Today Development Partners

TDP is a new organisation that uses automation, and artificial intelligence to advance the retail industry. The core founding team of TDP includes Jonathan Faiman and Mo Gawdat. TDP's founders are attracting the brightest talent to build a great place to work in the UK.

Its core mission is to innovate to build the best possible consumer experience whilst also pioneering environmentally-friendly business. TDP is building an organisational culture that focuses primarily on the consumer to make everyday life easier. There's no other industry that touches the life of consumers more than retail and even a small saving in terms of consumer time and convenience can go a long way.

At the core of TDP's solution design is a sense of responsibility for our community and our environment. Advanced technology applied to a modern solution can have a marked positive impact on our planet.

We aim to be a kind responsible part of society. We believe that we should make a difference in order to earn the right to be profitable.

Jonathan Faiman

Jonathan Faiman, Co-founder and CEO of TDP, is best known as a co-Founder of Ocado in the UK.

Mo Gawdat

Mo Gawdat, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, for TDP is best known as one of Google’s leading business minds and was most recently the Chief Business Officer of Google X, the company’s innovation arm.  In 2017 he published a book ‘Solve for Happy’ about an engineering approach to happiness, which has become an international best-seller. He is the founder of OneBillionHappy.org a nonprofit organization aiming to make a billion people happy.

Ben Stimson

Ben became Retail Director in March 2016, at the same time he became a member of the Waitrose & Partners Management Board. Since joining the John Lewis Partnership in 2010, Ben has held a variety of senior roles, within both Waitrose and John Lewis. Before he joined the Partnership, Ben worked in a senior role at Sky.

Waitrose & Partners

Waitrose & Partners has 349 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. Waitrose & Partners is an employee-owned business - all employees are Partners and have a say in how the business is run.

Waitrose & Partners exports products to more than 50 countries worldwide and has nine shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitroseflorist.com for plants and flowers.   


Waitrose & Partners

Jess Hughes
Senior Public Relations Manager, Projects
Tel: 01344824294
Email: jess.hughes@waitrose.co.uk

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Simon Rigby, Jos Bieneman, Ellen Wilton

Tel: 020 7638 9571