Waitrose to revamp branches with concierge-style welcome desks
Waitrose is investing in a multi-million pound programme to improve the shopping experience for its customers by introducing concierge-style welcome desks in its shops and offering a range of personalised services.
The retailer said that growth in e-commerce was one of the key reasons for launching the welcome desk service as it will also provide an interface for its online customers who are increasingly using Waitrose branches as hubs for ordering and collection.
The move comes as Waitrose continues to expand its Click and Collect service which includes the facility for John Lewis to pick up online orders from a Waitrose store. In March, the retailer launched a drive-through collection point in five branches and will trial temperature controlled self service lockers for online shoppers at the end of the year.
The new welcome desk, which will initially be installed in 100 branches this year before rolling out to all shops in 2014, will be the hub of each supermarket providing the new services such as flower and gift wrapping, and an area for ordering via in-store tablets. A dry cleaning service will also be trialled in several stores this year ahead of roll-out.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price said: "Waitrose has a long established reputation for offering outstanding service and we know it’s one of the reasons our customers love shopping with us.
"The new welcome desks will allow us to respond to changing shopping habits as our supermarkets are increasingly used as a destination to collect online orders.
"By offering these new branch hubs, we will enhance the customer experience even further by providing greater convenience and even more personalised services."
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