Source: Waitrose

The recruitment drive comes in response to a 143% uplift in Christmas slots booked this year compared to 2019

Waitrose is looking to recruit almost 2,000 new drivers and pickers as it looks to ramp up its online capacity for Christmas.

The upmarket supermarket said it was hiring 1,850 permanent and temporary drivers and pickers to help push its sales over the festive period. The new employees will be working across its stores and two London fulfilment centres in Coulsdon and Enfield.

The roles cover both Waitrose.com home deliveries and the John Lewis-owned supermarket’s click & collect service, and will be filled through November and December.

The new members of staff come in response to the surge in customer demand for online deliveries. Waitrose has seen a 143% uplift in its delivery slots booked for Christmas this year compared to 2019. There were 44,000 orders made between 15 and 24 December last year in comparison to 107,000 slots already having been booked for between 20 and 24 December this year.

It also lowered its online minimum spend threshold to £40 from £60 last month and trebled its number of online slots to around 190,000 per week.

“This year our online shopping operation has more than trebled, and we know that the demand for our Waitrose.com service will continue throughout the festive season,” said Laura Burbedge, director of online at Waitrose. “Our customers are planning ahead and adding Christmas items to their online baskets, with seasonal products on Waitrose.com up 250% so far in comparison to last year and turkey orders up by 280%. These additional Waitrose.com drivers and pickers will allow us to better support our customers over the Christmas period with their online grocery orders.”