The announcement is the third in a series of big moves by the supermarket chain to treble Waitrose.com to a £1 billion business within three years.
Two weeks ago it signed an outline agreement with Today Development Partners to develop three further Customer Fulfilment Centres, and in the same week promoted retail director Ben Stimson to the newly created role of digital director, to accelerate online growth and operations.
The retailer said its Waitrose.com delivery service was launched in 2000 and now delivers to 81% of UK postcodes. The service is provided through a combination of deliveries from branches and from a south London centre which opened in Coulsdon in 2015. Its full range of up to 27,000 branded and own-label products is available, with delivery in one-hour slots and free for all orders over £60.
Digital director Ben Stimson commented: “Waitrose.com growth is rapid and we know there are many more new customers that would like to buy products from us online. This centre is the latest in an exciting raft of investments and will ensure they have a really convenient, easy way to do so.”
In addition to investment in its Waitrose.com service, the retailer has been investing in ways to reach more customers online including a trial in London called While You’re Away5, to deliver groceries to customers’ homes and put them away while they are not at home, and Rapid Delivery6, to deliver groceries within two hours of ordering.