Waitrose & Partners is extending the trial of its ‘While You’re Away’ service following a successful launch, expanding from 300 postcodes to 818, which are delivered by its fulfilment centre at Coulsdon in south London.
The supermarket chain said that following positive feedback and regular use of the service from the initial 50 customers who have taken part in the trial, it will increase the number of customers participating in phase two of the trial by 200%.
The purpose of extending the trial to a wider customer base is to gather more information and data before potentially rolling it out more broadly in the future.
Richard Ambler, head of business development at JLP Ventures, said: “Having to stay home for a delivery can be incredibly disruptive to your day – and many of our customers now demand more flexibility. This service has great potential to revolutionise the way people do their shopping in the UK, and the goal of extending this trial is to find just how much of an appetite there is for the service. So far, the response from customers has been hugely positive.”
Waitrose claims to be the first UK supermarket to deliver groceries to customers inside their homes and put the goods away while customers are out. 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 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 puts 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.
There is a minimum order of £25 and, Waitrose said, 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.
Customers can find out if they are eligible for the trial or can register their interest in the service in the future by visiting www.wya.waitrose.com.