Waitrose & Partners has acquired a 111,000 square foot property in Enfield, North London, at which it plans to develop a dedicated fulfilment centre for online customer orders.
The new facility will open in spring of next year.
With the new site, the retailer aims to grow its Waitrose.com operation into a £1 billion business within three years.
Customer Fulfilment Centres
Waitrose recently signed an outline agreement with Today Development Partners to develop three further customer fulfilment centres.
In the same week, the company also created the role of digital director, moving retail director Ben Stimson into the new role to accelerate online growth and operations.
Waitrose.com deliveries from across the UK are picked and packed by partners in a customer's local shop, the retailer said.
This means 81% of active UK postcodes can be reached, which offers significant capacity for further growth in the retailer's online model.
Waitrose revealed that the combination of a dedicated centre working alongside shops has already proved a success in South London, with the success of a centre in Coulsdon, which opened in 2015.
The retailer stated that its full range of up to 27,000 branded and own label products is available, with delivery in one-hour slots. Delivery is free for all orders over £60.
It reported that the Enfield centre is the next stage of online investment that has seen the retailer inject more than £80 million into Waitrose.com over the last five years.
"Waitrose.com's growth is rapid and we know there are many more new customers who would like to buy our products from us online," said Ben Stimson, digital director.
"This centre is the latest in an exciting raft of investments and will ensure they have a really convenient, easy way to do so," he added.
Waitrose & Partners added that it has also been investing in innovative ways to reach more customers online. This will include a trial in London called While You're Away, which will deliver groceries to customer's homes and put them away while they are not home, and a Rapid Delivery service.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Helen Galgey. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.