Waitrose store front

Source: Waitrose

Waitrose is reportedly in discussions with Amazon about a partnership

Waitrose could become the next supermarket to sign a third-party agreement with Amazon to list its products on the e-commerce giant’s site.

According to a report by The Telegraph over the weekend, talks between the pair are “ongoing”, as the supermarket looks to widen its customer reach and market share.

While no deal is thought to be agreed, the nature of the partnership would be similar to the one signed between Amazon and Iceland Foods in September.

Iceland now lists thousands of own-label and branded SKUs on Amazon’s website. The fresh and frozen groceries are picked within Iceland stores and delivered by an Amazon courier.

The service, which is available to Amazon Prime customers, has initially launched in select stores in Greater Manchester, but there are plans for it to be expanded to other regions of the UK.

Both Waitrose and Amazon declined to comment when approached by The Grocer. 

Morrisons and Co-op are the other UK grocers who currently have third-party agreements with Amazon.

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The Grocer understands Amazon sees its third-party relationships as an opportunity to grow its understanding of the UK grocery sector, for which it remains a relatively nascent player. It opened its first ‘Just Walk Out’ Amazon Fresh store in March 2021.

Waitrose executive director James Bailey has spoken publicly about aims to widen Waitrose’s appeal to a broader section of customers, particularly younger customers. It includes through partnerships with home delivery players Deliveroo, since 2021, and Uber Eats since July this year.

The supermarket has worked to build up its e-commerce operation following the end of its 20-year partnership with Ocado in September 2020.

Online sales, most of which come through Waitrose.com, fell in the year to January 2023, following a significant boost during the Covid pandemic, accounting for 14% of total sales, down from 17% the year before.