Waitrose has partnered with Deliveroo to offer grocery deliveries in as little as 30 minutes as its 19-year tie-up with Ocado comes to an end.
Waitrose become the latest major UK grocer to enlist the help of Deliveroo to boost its online delivery capabilities, and will now offer 500 of its items via the Deliveroo app to around 500,000 households.
It comes as its near two-decade partnership with online grocery giant Ocado comes to an end today, seeing its range of 4000 products replaced by around 6000 of its rival Marks & Spencer’s.
This latest move forms part of Waitrose’s efforts to “bring home Ocado shoppers to Waitrose.com” and grow its online presence far beyond that it had seen during the partnership.
It is also marks the first significant step in its new strategy, laid out in its strategic update in July, in which it plans to enlist the help of third party companies like Deliveroo to grow its online operations rapidly and efficiently, a method which has proved successful for numerous retailers during lockdown.
“We have laid down a marker for our future strategy with the growth of Waitrose.com and Waitrose Rapid and this gives us another opportunity to give our customers a taste of what the future of convenience shopping could look like for us,” Waitrose executive director James Bailey said.
“Our trial with Deliveroo has huge potential to give new and existing customers greater choice and flexibility for when and how they want to shop with Waitrose.”
The 12-week trial will launch from today in Bracknell and Clifton before launching in Surbiton, Fitzroy Street and Notting hill later this week, and be rolled out to more of the UK if it proves successful.
Waitrose remains confident that the split from Ocado will not add to the struggles seen across the wider John Lewis Partnership, which announced 7000 upcoming job cuts last month.
It has launched a multi-million pound marketing campaign and developed 5000 new or reformulated products to boost its own brand range and offer shoppers more choice and value.
Waitrose customer director Martin George said last month: “Waitrose own label products have historically made up a quarter of Ocado’s grocery sales, so we know a lot of people who use the service love our products, are loyal to our brand and are keen to avoid any disruption.”