Waitrose has struck a deal with ecommerce platform TDP to succeed its Ocado partnership and plans to treble the size of its online business over the next three years.

The grocer has partnered with newly created AI retail platform Today Development Partners (TDP) to drive the growth of its online arm. TDP was co-founded by Ocado co-founder Jonathan Faiman and former chief business officer for Google’s innovation arm Google X, Mo Gawdat.

In partnership with TDP, Waitrose plans to develop three new state-of-the-art automated customer fulfilment centres (CFCs) over the next three years to create a £1bn online operation.

To drive this development and manage the relationship with TDP, Waitrose has promoted retail director Ben Stimson to a new role of digital director with immediate effect.

Waitrose’s new partnership with TDP follows its long-term ecommerce partner Ocado striking a £1.5bn deal with rival Marks & Spencer to drive its online offer.

As a result of this deal, Ocado’s sourcing agreement with Waitrose will end in September 2020.

Waitrose & Partners managing director Rob Collins said: “Waitrose.com is a popular and efficient home-delivery service that is already growing strongly ahead of the market. The plans announced today represent a clear commitment to achieving rapid step-change in Waitrose.com’s capacity and capability as we build a modern, well-invested digital business that is fit for the future.

“The development of our new CFCs will triple our delivery capacity, bringing our well-loved service and delicious food to more customers across the UK and setting Waitrose.com on the path to becoming a £1bn turnover business.”

Faiman added: “I am more excited about this new venture than anything I’ve done in my career. I am delighted and privileged to be back within the John Lewis Partnership family, and we will deliver for Waitrose.com customers the world’s best digital home delivery service.”