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Waitrose & Partners becomes UK’s first supermarket to test in-home deliveries while customers are out

Waitrose & Partners is to become the UK’s first supermarket to trial the delivery of groceries to customers inside the home while customers are out.

The ‘While You’re Away’, service will initially be tested with 100 customers located within the delivery area of its dotcom fulfilment centre in Coulsdon, south London. If the trial is successful the retailer hopes to roll out the service to more than 1,000 customers in Spring 2019.

Waitrose & Partners is partnering with Yale to use its smart lock technology, enabling the customer to grant 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.

As well as delivering the products the drivers will also be tasked with putting refrigerated and frozen goods away and leaving other groceries on the kitchen counter, or where 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 service will comprise a minimum order of £25 with a minimum of six orders initially due to the small trial sample. However this will be reviewed after the trial.

Archie Mason, head of business development at Waitrose & Partners, said the move was the latest by the retailer to improve convenience for busy customers. “Rather than waiting for a delivery or trying to put everything away, it gives customers more flexibility to use that time differently, including more time enjoying cooking and eating the food they’ve bought. 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.”

Image credit: Waitrose & Partners