Waitrose trials 'in-home' delivery service while you're at work

Mae Love
October 7, 2018

Waitrose says it is the first in the United Kingdom to test demand for such a service - initially with 100 customers located near its fulfilment centre in Coulsdon, south London - after seeing it prove popular in the USA and Scandinavia.

Waitrose has had a very, very bad idea, suggesting that in the future - or even right now in the small area it's testing this service enhancement in - your internet shopping delivery man might let himself into your (smart) home via an access code then unpack your shopping for you.

If the trial is successful, Waitrose expects to be able to make the service available to more than 1,000 customers in spring 2019.

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.

Profit margins on home deliveries are thin and Archie Mason, Waitrose head of business development, said that the supermarket has been looking for ways to make shopping even more convenient and fit in around busy lifestyles.

Customers must order at least six deliveries with a minimum order of £25 - conditions to be reviewed after the trial.

The drivers will help to put suitable foods in the fridge and freezer and leave other groceries on the kitchen counter, or wherever the customer prefers.

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To ensure the whole process is secure and above-board, drivers will wear a chest-mounted camera to capture video of the delivery.

"Our heritage and priority is in security, but the technologies we're now working with means we can also collaborate with companies, like Waitrose, to also develop services that fit with modern life", he explained.

Yale is also working with Amazon on its in-home delivery trials in the US.

Last month, Waitrose announced that it was rolling out a 'two hour delivery' service for the first time, called Waitrose Rapid Delivery, whereby customers in select London postcodes can avail of speedy delivery of up to 20 items.

"This latest move from Waitrose is an example of existing players in the market investing in their service", commented Vanessa Henry, shopper insight manager at IGD.

"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 United Kingdom".

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