Waitrose opens first distribution site for online business

Waitrose has begun shipping online orders from a new London-based distribution centre (DC).
The upmarket grocer only entered the online grocery shopping market in July this year and, until now, any orders made via its website have been met by the retailer’s 19 branches in the capital, which have seen huge increases in volumes over the last three months.
In a bid to meet growing demand for the company’s web services and take pressure off the 19 stores which have been processing its internet orders, Waitrose has opened its first Dotcom Fulfilment Centre in Acton, west London.
The 37,000 sq ft ‘dark store’ will initially handle 2,000 orders a week from customers, with this number expected to grow significantly over the coming months.
The centre is designed just like a normal Waitrose supermarket but is not open to customers. Instead, it is solely used by the retailer’s operations staff and product pickers who use extra large trolleys to collect products for six orders at a time.
Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose, said: “We see huge potential for our online business across the country and in the important London market and this new Fulfilment centre is a big step forward in meeting the incredibly strong demand for Waitrose products, service and value in the capital.”
Waitrose said 14 of its London-based branches will continue to deliver orders for customers in some parts of the city, with weekday delivery hours extended from 8am-10pm to 7am-11pm.