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Waitrose Plans to Increase Capacity for Online Order Fulfilment

07 May 2020 - 09:48 by Sarah Collinson

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With more people choosing to order their groceries via safe shopping online at the moment, supermarket chain Waitrose has taken the sensible step of opening a new distribution centre in the capital so that its customers in London can get easier access to delivery slots and thousands of popular products.

Internet Retailing reports that the centre will eventually employ over 800 people and will be an important step in the transition that Waitrose is making at the moment as its long-standing deal with Ocado comes to a close.

The retailer is spending around £100 million to overhaul its e-commerce services and is chiefly interested in increasing its capacity so that it is able to serve more customers efficiently and effectively.

In response to the current pandemic, Waitrose has been prioritising orders to people who fall into the most vulnerable categories, including the elderly. Internet Retailing reports that over a third of orders fulfilled in the past week have been allocated to those in these groups so that they have guaranteed access to essential products.

Company spokesperson Ben Stimson said that the arrival of coronavirus came at a time when Waitrose was already in the process of enhancing its online grocery solutions, and the opening of its distribution centre in London will further enable it to cope with increased demand.

Stimson also said that taking into account the needs of the most vulnerable consumers was becoming an important aspect of its ongoing aims to bolster online shopping using its website and delivery infrastructure.

As well as being a lynchpin of its online operations in the capital, the new centre is also built to be as sustainable and energy-efficient as possible, giving customers even more confidence that their orders will be fulfilled with minimal impact on the environment.