Waitrose has put plans to expand its online delivery business on hold while it concentrates on integrating new stores into the business.
Managing director Steven Esom said it was constantly reviewing its plans for services offered from branches, including its store-picking online service, WaitroseDeliver.
However, while refurbishing its newly acquired stores was the priority, he said that a number of key infrastruture investments were under way, which would enable it to extend the delivery service in the future. This included the installation of new till systems through its branches, which would be integrated into the WaitroseDeliver software.
Esom said any decision to extend the reach of the service would have to be carried out with “respect to other initiatives planned in our branches” and the rest of the business.
He added: “I am well aware of the potential both Ocado and WaitroseDeliver offer to expand our presence, but this must be balanced with our ability to offer a consistently high level of service, which we seek to maintain and improve.
“We have therefore held back on any further roll out.”