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Waitrose and Deliveroo are expanding their partnership to meet “strong customer demand” by adding more than 70 new Waitrose locations by the summer.

The extension of the partnership means that Deliveroo customers will be able to order Waitrose products for delivery in as little as 20 minutes from over 220 Waitrose locations across the country - more than two thirds of the supermarket’s stores.

This next phase of expansion means Waitrose will be available for the first time on Deliveroo in almost 30 new towns and cities, including Lewes, Cirencester and Newark, where the service will be live from today.

It comes only a year after the partnership was rolled out to 150 Waitrose shops following a successful trial of just five sites in 2020.

Waitrose said the relationship was bringing new customers to the supermarket, with almost a third of monthly Waitrose orders on Deliveroo from customers who have never shopped with the supermarket brand before.

Top-selling items include avocados, blueberries, sourdough bread and milk.

Waitrose is also trialling Deliveroo Hop, the rapid delivery service that brings groceries to customers’ doors in as little as ten minutes, in Bermondsey in London.

James Bailey, executive director for Waitrose, said: “Our partnership with Deliveroo shows the strong demand for Waitrose products and that this is one of the ways our customers want to shop with us. People’s plans change and the service ensures we are even more flexible around our customer’s lifestyle, giving them more freedom to be more spontaneous about what they eat or drink and when.”

Carlo Mocci, chief business officer UK&I, Deliveroo said: “It’s fantastic to be able to build further on our successful and long standing partnership with Waitrose, one of Britain’s best-loved brands. By expanding into these new locations, it will give our customers a greater choice of on-demand groceries and household essentials that can be delivered to their doors in as little as 20 minutes.”

Morning update

Real estate investment trust Supermarket Income REIT, which invests in property in the grocery sector, is proposing to raise £175m to fund further purchases.

It is looking to raise the cash via a share placing at 121p per share, with its shares at 126.5p last night before this morning’s announcement.

The proceeds from will be used to make additional investments, further diversifying the group’s portfolio and capitalising on its leading position in the UK supermarket real estate market.

Assets with an aggregate value of approximately £150m are currently under exclusivity and additional assets with an aggregate value of approximately £120m are in advanced due diligence.

A further pipeline of assets with an aggregate value of approximately £440m meet the company’s investment criteria.

The company said it had “secure, inflation-protected, long income grocery property portfolio with capital appreciation potential and 85 percent of current portfolio rental income directly linked to inflation”.

In the period July 2021 to date, the company has acquired £372m of supermarket property assets, fully investing the proceeds of the oversubscribed equity raise of £200m in October 2021.

This represented the eighth consecutive time that the company has raised equity and deployed the proceeds within six months.

Elsewhere, UK consumers are prioritising affordability in their purchasing decisions as growing economic uncertainty diminishes consumer confidence, according the latest EY UK Future Consumer Index.

The survey of over 1,000 UK consumers, which has been tracking consumer behaviour since April 2020, also found that affordability and availability remain key to purchasing decisions with inflationary pressures beginning to affect consumers.

Some 68% of respondents said they are concerned about their finances, 57% of those surveyed also stated that price is now more important than before the pandemic, with 28% saying they are stockpiling groceries.

The survey found that although concerns about the fear of COVID-19 had lessened, the challenging economic climate and current geopolitical turmoil have affected consumer confidence, with shoppers dealing with increases in price, costs and product unavailability.

In its March interim report, the EY ITEM Club downgraded its 2022 consumer spending growth forecast to 5.1% from the 5.6% expected in early February, and to 1.7% from 2.9% for 2023.

Silvia Rindone, EY UK&I Retail Lead, commented: “While the heightened concerns at the peak of the pandemic may have waned, today’s consumer would be forgiven for feeling they have entered a new era of ‘perma-crisis’ instead.

“They are facing rising inflation, as well as geopolitical uncertainty and further supply disruption, which is also causing availability challenges and fuelling price rises. How they react to these changes and the spending behaviour that results are something that brands and retailers will need to keep a close eye on.”

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 has opened down 0.4% to 7,554pts.

Risers include McBride, up 7.7% to 42.2p, Sainsbury’s, up 1.9% to 245.7p and Bakkavor, up 1.3% to 109p.

Fallers include Supermarket Income REIT, down 1.6% to 124.5p, Coca-Cola European Partners, down 1.6% to €44.10 and British American Tobacco, down 1.6% to 3,251.5p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 closed down yesterday 0.3% at 7,587.7pts.

Hilton Food Group feel back 1.8% to 1,200p despite posting a surge in revenues and profits as it extended its reach across protein categories around the world.

Imperial Brands was up 3.3% to 1,669p after it said it had made “good progress” despite a weaker performance in Europe offsetting growth in other regions.

The day’s fallers included Virgin Wines, down 3.9% to 122.5p, Nichols, down 2.9% to 1,320p, McBride, down 3% to 39.2p and McColl’s, down 2.9% to 2p.

Risers included AG Barr, up 1.5% to 548.1p and Bakkavor, up 1.3% to 109p.