Waitrose launches bookable shopping slots to help ensure peace of mind and safety this Christmas

Monday 14 December 2020

Following its successful trial of bookable shopping slots over the summer, Waitrose is expanding its service to more than 110 stores from Monday (14th December). 

The supermarket has been continuing to manage the number of customers in its stores to help its customers maintain a safe distance from others while shopping. Like most other retailers, there may be queues at peak times. The booking service allows customers to book a shopping slot at select Waitrose shops this Christmas, giving them the peace of mind to know that they’ll be able to avoid any potential queues. 

The service is free and optional. Customers can still turn up and shop without booking a slot, but the new service will be a welcome addition to those who like to plan ahead.  

Customers can visit Waitrose.com and book a slot at 111 stores across the country, up to seven days in advance of their visit. They will receive a confirmation email once they’ve booked and will be sent a reminder 24 hours in advance of their slot. The slot will provide a dedicated time for them to arrive, and on arrival, all customers have to do is present their confirmation email to the Queue Marshall at the entrance.  There is no limit on how long customers can shop for once they are inside the store.

Waitrose has also extended its opening hours in the days leading up to and including 23rd December, with most shops open until 11pm and some convenience shops open until 12am. Customers can check the opening times of their local shop here.

Through it’s “How to shop” campaign, which features Partners from its Waitrose Banbury store, Waitrose is also encouraging customers to be kind and considerate by shopping alone wherever possible and encouraging customers to shop during quieter times of the day.

Steven Hand, Head of Customer Experience at Waitrose, says: "We’re all looking forward to Christmas this year and whilst things will feel a little different to usual, we’re doing all we can to make our customers’ grocery shop as safe, easy and convenient as possible.  Our pre-bookable slots are just another way we’re doing this and will give peace of mind to those who like to plan ahead and avoid queues.”

Waitrose will continue to prioritise its elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers whenever there’s a queue, and will also prioritise NHS workers and carers, too.

Waitrose has a number of other measures in place to ensure customers can shop safely in store, including: 

  • Queue Marshals to help guide customers in and out of stores and answer any queries
  • Limits to customer numbers in stores at any one time to help with social distancing. 
  • Floor markers to help customers observe social distancing 
  • Protective screens at checkout 
  • Hand sanitiser stations at the entrances of shops 
  • Lift instructions advising only one customer or family to enter at any one time
  • Signage to guide more people where possible to make use of contactless payment and Quick Check self service scanning facilities.


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 78,000 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 42 shops plus one outlet across the UK as well as johnlewis.com. Waitrose & Partners has 335 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 13 shops which operate under licence in the UAE. 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

Eleanor Gillingham

Partner & Senior Communications Officer, Brand
Tel: 01344 824916
Email: eleanor.gillingham@waitrose.co.uk