Covid-19: Waitrose reports over 150,000 online orders in one week

Waitrose has processed more than 150,000 online orders in a week for the first time as it continues to rapidly expand its eCommerce operations during the Covid-19 pandemic. This represents a doubling of the number of orders it was able to process at the beginning of the year. The retailer added that it is ramping up its online delivery capacity further by adding an additional 150 new delivery vans to its fleet.

Even prior to Covid-19, Waitrose was taking steps to serve more customers digitally, announcing in early March that a further 24 of its stores would become online fulfilment hubs by 1 September. Three of these are due to go live from next week, taking the total number of stores that deliver Waitrose.com orders to 173.

In light of the pandemic, Waitrose has taken steps to quickly expand its eCommerce capabilities, including opening new customer fulfilment centres in Coulsdon and Enfield to meet growing demand in London. The grocer also reported last month that it has more trebled the number of deliveries it is made via its rapid delivery service to 7,000, with 40% reserved for vulnerable customers. Using this service, customers are able to choose from 25 essential items, receiving delivery within two hours.

It stated that 90% of active UK postcodes can now order online from Waitrose.com as a result of this expansion, adding that 26 of its stores are able to deliver over 1,000 deliveries every week.

Waitrose.com director Ben Stimson said: "The expansion plans we had in place for Waitrose.com have allowed us to respond as best we can to the huge surge in demand in recent months – especially from vulnerable groups who need home delivery services. We're seeing a fundamental shift to many people's shopping habits, and we're incredibly proud of how our shops have scaled up our online operations at such speed."

A number of supermarket retailers have significantly ramped up their online delivery capacity in response to the UK’s lockdown. In April, Tesco revealed it had fulfilled over 1 million grocery orders in a single week.

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