Waitrose is opening a second ecommerce grocery depot in London, in a move that the supermarket says will more than double the number of online delivery slots available in the capital.
Sales within the M25 area currently represent 20% of all Waitrose.com sales, while its total ecommerce sales through the website rose by 40.6% in the first half of this year, according to Kantar Worldpanel Grocery figures.
The new site will open next autumn, replacing Waitrose’s current model of fulfilling London shoppers’ orders through local branches and a single dotcom fulfillment centre (DFC) in Acton.
Waitrose says the new centre, which will take forward the dark store operated at Acton and create 500 new jobs, will enable 50% more items to be picked every hour, thanks to an 80,000 sq ft picking area that is double the size of the Acton store. Up to 50% more drops are expected to be made by each van, part of a fleet redesigned for increased efficiency, each week.
“Demand from Waitrose.com shoppers in the capital has soared over the last year,” said Waitrose retail director Rob Collins. “Our dotcom fulfillment centre (DFC) in Acton will reach capacity in 2014, and we have been looking for the right location for a second for some time.
“The DFC in Coulsdon provides the perfect, purpose-built site for us to take what we have learnt from Acton and step our online operation up a gear.”