Waitrose drivers unpack groceries home alone for new delivery scheme

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Waitrose is trialling an ‘in-home’ delivery scheme that allows drivers access to customers’ homes while they are out.

The “While You’re Away” service is currently being tested at 100 customer’s homes in Coulsdon, near its fulfillment centre in London, after similar schemes performed well in the US and Scandinavia.

Customers enrolled in the scheme will be fitted with a Yale ‘smart lock’, which sets a temporary access code which is then sent to Waitrose via a secure app.

The code is in turn sent to the delivery driver’s device when they arrive at the customer’s home, before being deleted once the delivery is complete.

Drivers will store chilled and frozen produce in the fridge and freezer, and leave other groceries on the kitchen counter.

Each delivery is captured on a chest camera worn by the driver, which customers can view the next working day.

Currently, customers must spend at least £25 and book a minimum of six deliveries to be fitted with the smart lock, although Waitrose said this could be up for review after the trial.

The up-market grocer says it plans to be able to offer the service to more than 1,000 customers in spring next year, depending on the success of the trial.

“There is certainly an increasing demand among our customers to make shopping with us even more convenient to fit around their busy lifestyles”, Waitrose head of business development Archie Mason said.

“Rather than waiting for a delivery or trying to put everything away, it gives customers more flexibility to use that time differently, including more time enjoying cooking and eating the food they’ve bought.

 “The concept of in-home delivery has started to prove popular in other countries so we are keen to establish if there is an appetite for it in the UK.”

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