Waitrose has announced the launch of its new national online roll-out programme, which will add Waitrose.com online delivery service to a further 24 sites across the country.
The supermarket giant said these sites were “strategically placed” to handle an increased demand for its online shopping service in preparation for its upcoming split from Ocado.
Ocado will lose its right to sell any Waitrose products from 1 September onwards, and following this move, Waitrose products will be available exclusively on Waitrose.com.
Its site in Hailsham will be the first in the roll-out programme to receive the online service, following the 150 sites that currently cover deliveries across the country.
The retailer said that 84% of active UK postcodes are currently able to order Waitrose.com shopping, and with the addition of 24 new shops, it aims to further increase its order capacity.
The company has also announced the upcoming opening of a new Customer Fulfilment Centre in Enfield, which is set to open as a response to a “surge in demand” in London.
Digital director, Ben Stimson, said: “We’re not starting from scratch – Waitrose.com is growing significantly ahead of the market and we already deliver to tens of thousands of customers each week, added to the millions who visit our shops.
“We have robust plans in place to extend our reach ahead of September. We have significant investment planned for the coming months across our infrastructure, website and service – creating more delivery slots and employing a fleet of new drivers.”
He added: “And adding online capability to these 24 more of our shops will mean we can reach even more of the country – we already deliver to 84% of UK postcodes and this is growing all the time.
“Our teams at head office are working across our website and apps to make our service better, faster and more convenient. And our chefs and product developers will be launching or redeveloping more than 5000 of our own label products this year.”