Waitrose has opened a new customer fulfilment centre, or dark store, in Greenford, West London which will deliver 25,000 Waitrose.com orders a week when it becomes operational later this year.
A fleet of 150 new vans will allow staff to pick and pack 1.25 million products a week.
The centre is the third for Waitrose and complements others in Coulsdon and Enfield. In the rest of the UK orders are fulfilled from traditional Waitrose stores.
The new fulfilment centre is the first for Waitrose to be opened and operated by supply chain partner Wincanton plc, who has been supplying wines and spirits to Waitrose stores for more than 20 years.
Laura Burbedge, Waitrose.com director said the new centre was an important step in the expansion of online delivery capability for the retailer. “Waitrose.com now accounts for a fifth of our total business, compared to 6% a year ago. But despite this huge growth, we know there are still more people who would like to shop online with us – so this new centre is a significant step in our future plans.”
James Wroath, Wincanton CEO: “As the first supply chain partner to create a dark store for grocery home deliveries in the UK, this is an exciting growth opportunity for Wincanton. We look forward to providing Waitrose.com customers in London with the highest levels of service. Dark stores will play a huge role in helping supply chains adapt to meet a new set of expectations as more retail purchases are made online and they will better enable businesses to serve customers, at scale.”