Waitrose & Partners announces new Customer Fulfilment Centre in Enfield to support online growth
- Creation of hundreds of new jobs when fully operational
- Five-acre site in Enfield due to open in Spring 2020
Waitrose & Partners has acquired a 110,000 sq ft property in Enfield, North London that will open as a dedicated fulfilment centre for online customer orders in spring next year.
The announcement is the third in a series of big moves by the retailer to treble Waitrose.com to a £1bn business within three years: last week it signed an outline agreement with Today Development Partners to develop three further Customer Fulfilment Centres with state-of-the-art technology; and in the same week created the role of Digital Director, moving Retail Director Ben Stimson into the new role to accelerate online growth and operations.
Across the UK, Waitrose.com deliveries are picked and packed by Partners in a customer’s local shop. This means 81% of active UK postcodes can be reached, and offers significant capacity for further growth in the retailer’s online model. The combination of a dedicated centre working alongside shops has already proved a success in South London with a centre in Coulsdon, opened in 2015.
Both models are run by Partners, meaning a personalised service for customers. The full range of up to 27K branded and own label products is available, with delivery in one-hour slots and free for all orders over £60.
The Enfield centre is the next stage of online investment that has seen the retailer inject more than £80m into Waitrose.com over the last five years. This has been across the entire service, from digital platform and new apps, to delivery performance and doorstep service.
Says Digital Director Ben Stimson: ‘Waitrose.com growth is rapid and we know there are many more new customers who would like to buy our products from us online. This centre is the latest in an exciting raft of investments and will ensure they have a really convenient, easy way to do so.’
In addition to investment in its Waitrose.com service, Waitrose & Partners has been investing in innovative ways to reach more customers online - including a trial in London called While You’re Away5, to deliver groceries to customers’ homes and put them away while they are not at home, and Rapid Delivery6, to deliver within two hours of ordering