Shoppers can have their Waitrose groceries delivered direct to their home via Ocado, the online grocery retailer which is part-owned by the John Lewis group, or through the supermarket’s own delivery service called Waitrose Deliver.
Ocado was formed in January 2000 as principal supplier for the John Lewis Partnership, delivering branded and Waitrose own-label groceries. However, regular disagreements between Ocado and John Lewis in 2008 led to the latter transferring its 29% stake in the Ocado business into its pension fund. By doing so, it enabled the two businesses to compete head to head on deliveries, despite Ocado’s five-year contract to deliver Waitrose goods.
As a result, Waitrose has been able to expand its own delivery service, called Waitrose Deliver. The service offers home delivery of Waitrose groceries ordered online but is only available from certain stores, most of which are in London. However, Waitrose and Ocado agreed upon a new five-year deal at the start of February 2009 that will give Ocado exclusivity in London (within the M25) and allow Waitrose to launch its Deliver service in 125 of its supermarkets outside of the capital.
- Waitrose Entertaining – Waitrose Entertaining is the retailer’s food catering service for special occasions and events. Menu ideas include oven ready dishes, canapés, celebration cakes, and fruit baskets and can be ordered online via the Waitrose Deliver service.
- Home Delivery – At selected branches customers can pay a small fee (either £3 or £5 depending on the amount of goods) to have their shopping delivered to their doorstep. A Fast track service is also available to Waitrose or John Lewis account cardholders.
- Web access – Waitrose supplies dial-up and broadband (up to 8Mb) internet connections and donate all the profits from the service to charity.
- Waitrose Wine – Waitrose also run an online wine delivery service – Waitrosewine.com. The site features over 1200 wines, champagne, whisky and gifts.
- Branch extras – the company provides a glass and fish kettle loan service, free of charge.