Waitrose Online Delivery Van

Waitrose plans to open its second dedicated online DC in London next year, doubling the number of delivery slots available to customers in the area.

The grocer hopes to open a six-acre DC in Coulsdon, south London, in autumn 2014. It will have 80,000 ft² of picking space and will process and despatch online orders.

The predominantly own-account operator also plans to take on a re-designed fleet of vans with increased load capacity and the ability to maintain frozen food temperatures for longer, which it hopes will cut transport costs. The site will also include a refuelling station and a maintenance facility.

Retail director Rob Collins said: “Demand from Waitrose.com shoppers in the capital has soared over the last year. Our dotcom fulfilment centre in Acton will reach capacity in 2014, and we have been looking for the right location for a second for some time.”

The grocer claims that orders within the M25 were worth 20% of its entire online operation last year and the Coulsdon site will operate alongside another online warehouse in Acton, west London.

The operator opened its £32m Leyland RDC in September.