Waitrose.com online shopping

Wincanton has won a five-year contract to operate an online fulfilment centre for Waitrose.com in Greenford, West London.

The move is part of wider plans by the retailer to ramp up its online operations in London and across the UK ahead of its September split with Ocado and in the face of rising demand for online deliveries fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wincanton will be responsible for setting up and operating the centre and delivering online orders to Waitrose.com customers in the West London area.

The new centre is expected to open in December this year. It will create 800 jobs and offer Waitrose.com customers an additional 25,000 orders per week – a four-fold increase since January this year.

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James Wroath, Wincanton chief executive, said: “This partnership with Waitrose to deliver groceries to customers’ homes is a fantastic opportunity for us to combine our existing capabilities in a new way, in order to accelerate Waitrose & Partners’ online growth. We will be the first third party logistics operator to enter an exciting and rapidly expanding market."

Andrew Murphy, John Lewis Partnership executive director, operations, said: "This builds on a 20-year relationship with Wincanton from which we know them to be a collaborative and agile business partner.

“Our companies' complementary experience will help us further accelerate our online growth and respond well to significant customer demand."

Waitrose executive director James Bailey added: “While we’ve already pulled forward our online expansion plans by six months we know there are still lots of people who want to shop online with us and currently can’t.

“This is especially the case in London, where we’ve seen a significant and prolonged surge in demand for our online offer. This new centre will help us better serve the London area with a much broader range of slots.”