Waitrose trials ‘in-home’ delivery

Waitrose has announced the trial of new service which delivers groceries to customers inside the home and put them away while they are out.

The retailer will initially test demand for the new service, which is called ‘While You’re Away’, with 100 customers located within the delivery area of its dotcom fulfilment centre in Coulsdon, south London.

Using Yale smart lock technology, the customer grants access to a Waitrose delivery driver by setting a temporary access code for the lock which is then sent to Waitrose via a secure app. The code is then sent to the driver’s device at the time the customer has booked for the delivery and is deleted once the delivery is complete.

The driver will put refrigerated and frozen goods away and leave other groceries on the kitchen counter, or as instructed by the customer. The whole delivery is captured on a chest-cam worn by the driver, with the video available for request for the customer the next working day.

“The concept of ‘in-home delivery’ has started to prove popular in other countries so we are keen to establish if there is an appetite for it in the UK,” said Archie Mason, head of business development from Waitrose & Partners.

There is a minimum order of £25 and given the small number of customers involved at this stage, there is a minimum number of six orders, however this will be reviewed after the trial, said the retailer.

If the trial is successful, Waitrose hopes to make the service available to more than 1,000 customers in spring 2019, if the trial turns out to be a success.