Waitrose plans to step up its multichannel credentials with the launch of temperature-controlled delivery lockers for click-and-collect customers in-store and at remote locations.
Staff at Waitrose’s Bracknell head office are at present testing the lockers, with the service set to be rolled out to stores next year.
The grocer also plans to launch lockers at locations other than its own stores.
After placing an order online, customers will receive a text message with a personal identification number to unlock a locker. The lockers will be temperature-controlled and can be refilled throughout the day.
Robin Phillips, Waitrose director of ecommerce, said: “Giving our customers as many ways as possible to buy and collect their groceries on the move is key to building on the phenomenal growth seen at Waitrose.com.”
He added that the lockers will mean Waitrose will be able to reach shoppers who don’t live near to a store and provide a convenient way for them to pick up their orders.
“More and more people are adding an online shopping mission to their way of buying from Waitrose and we will continue to invest in making sure that we give them what they want, when they want it,” he added.
The delivery lockers are the latest move by Waitrose to invest in its online operations.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price said in June that the grocer was building up its online infrastructure. He said the grocer has scouted a second ‘dark store’ online fulfilment centre “south of the river” in London and is building capacity to service shoppers clamouring to buy from its website.
Price said: “Our online business is growing at more than 50%. It’s about growing capacity. Weekend slots are totally booked out. We have to add more vans and more capacity. A lot of our investment will be in dotcom.”