Waitrose Rapid service to close at the end of May, as grocer focuses on Deliveroo partnership

·2 min read
Waitrose is expanding its delivery service with Deliveroo (Fiona Hanson)
Waitrose is expanding its delivery service with Deliveroo (Fiona Hanson)

Waitrose will close the same day grocery delivery service it runs itself, and will instead concentrate on Deliveroo getting orders to customers quickly.

The grocer, part of the John Lewis Partnership, launched Waitrose Rapid in September 2018. It enabled shoppers in certain areas to have up to 25 grocery items from a choice of more than 2,000 products, delivered to their home or office, within two hours or less or on the same day.

However, in September Waitrose began a trial with Deliveroo. The company last month said it was almost quadrupling the number of shops it offers the Deliveroo service from.

Up to 400 new jobs will be created in those shops where the offer is being introduced to fulfil orders ready to be collected and delivered by Deliveroo.

Waitrose today said it is finishing the Waitrose Rapid service at the end of the month, “because Rapid and Deliveroo were operating in the same market with lots of overlap… So we’ve decided to stop Rapid and focus solely on our Deliveroo partnership”.

The supermarket added: “Through Deliveroo our customers can order our food for delivery in as little as 20 minutes, and we are also able to grow the service much faster than Rapid, to reach more customers in more areas.”

The company also said it is in the process of expanding Deliveroo in shops at the moment, and it is prioritising areas that previously had the Rapid service - London and Hove - so that customers there have an alternative convenience service to move across to before the Rapid service ends.

Waitrose previously managed most aspects of the Rapid service, from the website to picking and packing orders, and then outsourced the final part of the order - the delivery - to a courier company. However, Deliveroo manages all aspects of the customer order, except for Waitrose staff picking and packing the orders ready for delivery.

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