Waitrose announces third online centre to boost shopping slots in the capital

Monday 29 June 2020

When new site is open Waitrose will have quadrupled London shopping slots in under a year.

After laying out plans in May to double the number of Waitrose.com slots in London with the opening of a second online fulfilment centre, Waitrose has announced a third such site. The new centre will significantly further increase the availability of delivery slots for customers in and around the capital.

The centre, in Greenford, West London, will be opened and operated with logistics company Wincanton plc - Britain's largest third-party logistics provider. The joint approach builds on a 20 year relationship with Wincanton supplying operations for Waitrose shops - and will help ensure the site is up and running providing slots to customers as soon as possible, potentially as early as December of this year.

Once established, the centre will create 800 jobs for the local area, and will mean London shoppers will have the potential to choose from four-times as many Waitrose.com delivery slots compared to just the start of this year. 

Across the country, Waitrose.com orders are mostly picked and delivered to customers from a network of Waitrose shops, covering nearly 90% of active UK postcodes. To help meet high demand in London, Waitrose already has dedicated online fulfilment centres in Coulsdon and Enfield (the latter opening last month, 7 May), which supplement  Waitrose deliveries from selected shops in London. All Waitrose.com deliveries are free, with minimum order value £60 and one-hour slots throughout the day.

Waitrose has been rapidly expanding its online business in preparation for becoming the only place to buy Waitrose food online later this year. These expansion plans helped it respond as best it could to huge demand for online grocery shopping caused by Covid-19. The retailer has more than doubled the weekly slots that customers can book since the start of the year, to now handle more than 150,000 orders each week.

The retailer has committed that at least 25% of its orders go to vulnerable customers, and it will continue to prioritise vulnerable shoppers after Government shielding advice is relaxed. 

James Bailey, Executive Director for Waitrose said: “While we’ve already pulled forward our online expansion plans by six months we know there are still lots of people who want to shop online with us and currently can’t. This is especially the case in London, where we’ve seen a significant and prolonged surge in demand for our online offer. This new centre will help us better serve the London area with a much broader range of slots.”

In addition to its work to expand its main Waitrose.com service, the retailer has also more than trebled the size of its Rapid service to 7,000 orders per week in London and Brighton, with at least 40% of slots reserved for vulnerable customers. The Rapid service offers up to 25 products for delivery within two hours.


  • Waitrose.com delivers to nearly 90% of postcodes across the country via a network of shops and two (to be three) fulfilment centres in London
  • Online orders have expanded by more than 100% since the start of lockdown, to more than 150,000 per week. A significant part of this increase has been through an increase in collections, with Click & Collect offering the opportunity for Waitrose to grow minimal-contact shopping. 
  • Waitrose has committed that at least 25% of orders go to elderly and vulnerable customers - including via the Government lists of clinically vulnerable people. While it is doing all it can to give slots to those who need them, demand remains high.
  • The retailer has been working to keep our shops well stocked for customers shopping on behalf of others who may be vulnerable, with full social distancing precautions in place. And would encourage any customers who are able to go to a shop to please do so, to help free up slots for those who need them the most.

Wincanton plc

Wincanton is the largest British third-party logistics firm, providing supply chain solutions to some of the world’s most admired brands across a wide range of industries including retail, construction, defence and energy.

As a trusted and respected business partner, we design and implement services and solutions that range from setting up and operating distribution networks through to bonded warehouses, technology hosting, container transport and storage. We strive for operational excellence in everything we do.

We work hard to understand and respond to our customers’ needs, build long term relationships and use our skills and expertise to deliver a smarter, added value service, every day. Our customers rely on us to make their businesses operate more efficiently and to gain a competitive advantage in their sector.

Improved stock visibility and availability, reduction of lead times, collaborative warehousing and transport models, and an absolute commitment to continuous improvement, are just some of the reasons why many of our customer relationships extend to more than 20 years.

Key facts:

  • Annual revenue in the UK & Ireland exceeds £1.2 billion
  • 19,100 colleagues including 5,500+ drivers 
  • Operates from 200+ locations with 14 million square feet of warehousing across the UK and Ireland
  • Operating responsibility for around 3,500 vehicles


About the John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners. Started as a radical idea nearly a century ago, the Partnership is the largest employee-owned business in the UK and amongst the largest in the world, with over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. For all intents and purposes, the Partnership is a social enterprise; the profits made are reinvested into the business - for customers and Partners. John Lewis & Partners operates 50 shops across the UK (36 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. Waitrose & Partners has 338 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. 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. Our food business is bigger than our non-food business and our John Lewis shop sales represent less than a quarter of the Partnership’s total revenue.


Waitrose & Partners

Jessamy Hughes

Partner & Senior Communications Manager, Projects 
Tel: 07764 676 850
Email: jess.hughes@waitrose.co.uk