Waitrose is to begin trialling a new delivery service, allowing drivers access to customer homes while they are out.
The service is called While You’re Away and will be trialled in 100 customers in Coulsdon, south London.
The Yale smart-lock technology will give drivers a temporary access code allowing access to houses. The driver will then put food in the fridge, freezer or on top of the kitchen counter.
“There is certainly an increasing demand among our customers to make shopping with us even more convenient to fit around their busy lifestyles. 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,” said Archie Mason, the head of business development at Waitrose & Partners.
“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,” he added.
The delivery will be filmed by a small camera on the driver’s chest, which will be available for request by customers the next working day.
Richard Lim, who is the chief executive of consultancy Retail Economics, found through research that “surprisingly high proportion” of customers would be happy for drivers to enter homes.
“Convenience is the key driver [for this scheme] and in turn that’s going to drive loyalty, drive increased basket values and it will drive profitability as well,” he said.
Waitrose, which is owned by the John Lewis Partnership, is the first UK supermarket to trial “in-home” deliveries.