Waitrose scraps two hour rapid delivery service as it begins Deliveroo expansion

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Waitrose launched its rapid delivery service back in 2018. Waitrose Rapid enabled shoppers in certain areas to have up to 25 grocery items delivered within two hours or less on the same day of ordering. 

With home delivery becoming increasingly popular in the UK, supermarkets are favouring ordering apps like Deliveroo. 

Supermarkets including Sainsbury’s have already begun trials with the app.

Waitrose began its trial last September and the grocer said it was almost quadrupling the number of shops it offers the Deliveroo service from.

Up to 400 jobs were also created in the shops where the offer was being introduced to fulfil orders ready to be collected and delivered by Deliveroo drivers. 

The supermarket chain told customers on Monday that its home delivery service would end on May 28.

Waitrose said its service would finish 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.

“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 chain has also significantly increased the number of home delivery slots on its website throughout the past year in order to keep up with customer demands. 

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Waitrose said: “The good news is that you can still order all your favourite Waitrose groceries and everyday essentials from waitrose.com, with one-hour delivery slots and a minimum spend of £40.”

Waitrose’s long-held partnership with Ocado also came to an end last year, when it was replaced by Marks and Spencer.

The pandemic has shifted consumer behaviour and meant that many more Britons are having groceries delivered to their homes.

Sainsbury’s has also been expanding its speedy Chop Chop service as well as having partnerships with both Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

The supermarket trialled its Deliveroo service last November, starting with just 10 stores.

With the extension of the partnerships with both delivery companies, 200 stores in total will this year be participating in the service. 

This means that more people across the UK will be able to order their groceries via the apps and get them delivered to their door in 30 minutes or less.

All customers need to do is download either Deliveroo or Uber Eats from the app store to their smartphone and search for Sainsbury’s.

Toussaint Wattinne, Uber Eats General Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be expanding our partnership with Sainsbury’s, offering over 1,000 fresh grocery and essential items for speedy delivery via the Uber Eats app.

“The addition of these new stores will provide greater convenience for customers across the country at a time when home delivery options are so important.”

The news comes as England is about to head into stage three of the easing of lockdown restrictions. 

Although this means relaxation of the current rules, supermarkets still have strict guidance in place that must be followed.

Customers must still wear face masks in store as well as stay away from other shoppers.

Supermarkets have updated their rules regularity in line with government guidance.

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