Waitrose is offering 30-minute delivery to half a million customers with a new Deliveroo partnership that promises to offer “a taste of the future of convenience”.
The grocer is working with the delivery service in a trial that promises to give consumers access to more than 500 Waitrose products. Deliveroo customers can choose from a range of food and drinks including ready meals, fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, snacks, store cupboard and cleaning essentials, as well as beer and wine.
It will run out of five Waitrose shops – Notting Hill Gate in London, Bracknell, Clifton in Bristol, Surbiton and Fitzroy Street in Cambridge.
The 12-week trial will begin on 1 September but, if successful, will be extended to more locations ahead of a roll-out on a larger scale. Customers will be able to place orders from one hour after the shop opens through to one hour before the shop closes.
Waitrose executive director James Bailey says: “This gives us another opportunity to give our customers a taste of what the future of convenience shopping could look like for us. Our trial with Deliveroo has huge potential to give new and existing customers greater choice and flexibility for when and how they want to shop with Waitrose.”
The tie-up with Deliveroo is designed to complement the supermarket’s two-hour home delivery service, Waitrose Rapid, which now has more than 23,000 customers.
The move comes as Waitrose ends its 18-year partnership with Ocado as the delivery business switches to M&S. It is investing heavily in its ecommerce offering, including delivery, with plans to increase weekly available slots from 160,000 to 250,000 a week.
Deliveroo’s vice-president of new business, Ajay Lakhani says: “We are excited about working with such a brilliant British brand, bringing people the food they need and want, on demand.”
Waitrose and M&S are battling it out to win over middle-England as shoppers adjust to the Ocado switch. Both are launching ambitious marketing campaign, with M&S is focusing on value for money while Waitrose is pushing the quality of its food.
Waitrose will need to convince consumers that it can offer the same streamline service of Ocado.