Innovation That Matters

Waitrose using bicycles & carts for greener grocery deliveries


British supermarket chain Waitrose dates back to the early 1900s, when bicycle and horse and cart were its chosen methods of delivery. Now—proving once again the old adage that everything that goes around comes around—much the same methods have returned as part of the company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. Waitrose has already appeared on our pages once before for its customer-directed giving program, and earlier this year it launched a series of new green initiatives that include eco-minded handcarts and bicycles for use delivering groceries to local consumers. At the store in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, for example, eco-handcarts have been added as a way to help boost the number of delivery slots available to customers without increasing the number of vans on the road. The specially designed carts are intended for use delivering to customers who live within a mile of the store, and can keep products frozen and chilled for up to two hours. Waitrose branches in Lichfield, Parkstone and Droitwich, meanwhile, have also introduced eco-bicycles following a successful trial last year at Waitrose Cambridge. The eco-bicycles are electric bikes with a maximum distance charge of 30 miles, and are intended for delivery to customers who live within 15 miles of the store. Finally, in a bid to help consumers adopt greener habits themselves, Waitrose has also introduced cycle trailers for loan at 36 of its stores. The trailers are loaned out free of charge to any customers who wish to use them, the company says. It’s no longer unusual to see smaller stores using bicycles for delivery, but for a large national chain like Waitrose to embrace such methods is a testament to the growing demand for greener deliveries. Other grocers around the world: turn off your engines! 😉 (Related: Cargo bikes for greener business deliveriesBicycle trailers on loan at IKEALocal produce, delivered by bicycle.) Spotted by: Raymond Kollau



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