Would you allow a supermarket delivery driver to have access to your home when you’re not there?
That’s the question being posed by Waitrose, which has revealed that it’s testing out a new version of its service which will see staff enter customers’ homes and put their groceries away for them while they’re out and about.
The store, which recently changed its name to Waitrose & Partners to align with its John Lewis brand, will use a secure app and Yale ‘smart lock’ technology to trial the process, generating temporary access codes to allow their drivers to go into houses when the owners are absent.
Once they’re in, the drivers will unpack the food, as well as putting any perishable items away in the fridge or freezer. When the job is complete, their access code will be deleted.
For added security, the whole operation will be filmed by a camera worn on the driver’s chest, to capture footage that shoppers can request to see the next working day.
Similar services are already available in the US and Scandinavia, and Waitrose & Partners, which will initially roll the program out to 100 customers living in Coulsdon, south London, is optimistic that it’ll be a similar success on our shores.
Archie Mason, head of business development at Waitrose & Partners, says: ‘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.
‘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.’
If the test goes well, Waitrose & Partners will expand the service to more than 1,000 customers in spring 2019.