Waitrose opens London DC to double capital capacity

Waitrose has announced it will open a customer fulfilment centre in Enfield, North London, to double online grocery deliveries in the capital by September.

The six-acre site will open on 7 May and create 370 new jobs, increasing to 850 when running at full capacity later this year. The additional distribution centre will add 13,000 weekly delivery slots for London customers.

The warehouse is part of the grocer’s £100 million investment into eCommerce. The Enfield centre will work with the existing Coulsdon centre in South London and a network of 14 stores across the capital to reach all London postcodes.

“Before coronavirus, Waitrose.com was already going through a period of significant expansion, with investment across our infrastructure and website. Enfield was planned as a big part of our expansion plans – but in fact it is now also helping us respond as best we can to the huge demand for online slots – especially from our most vulnerable customers,” explained Waitrose.com director Ben Stimson.

“One thing that recent weeks have highlighted to us is the importance of online retail to vulnerable people. Our shops have always been firmly rooted in their communities but through these challenging times our Partners working in shops and delivering grocery orders have been at the forefront of trying to respond to these needs in a way we couldn’t have imagined. We’re extremely proud of partners across the country and the vital role they’re carrying out.”

Waitrose products are also available on Ocado until September 2020 when its 18-year supplier deal comes to an end. Earlier this year, M&S and Ocado announced the creation of a new 50/50 joint venture (JV), which will see M&S acquire half of Ocado’s UK retail business and start selling its products via Ocado.com. Yesterday, M&S also announced a partnership with Deliveroo to launch home delivery from 142 branches to serve customers during the coronavirus crisis.