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UPDATE 1-UK's Waitrose expands rapid home deliveries with Deliveroo

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LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - British supermarket Waitrose will expand its Deliveroo service by 110 shops to 150 by the end of the summer, giving more customers access to rapid home delivery, it said on Tuesday.

Waitrose, which is part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, said it had agreed a two-year deal with the app and delivery service following a successful trial.

Waitrose’s long partnership with online grocery specialist Ocado came to an end last September.

It said the deal would take the number of people who are able to enjoy Waitrose food on Deliveroo to around 13 million. The upmarket food chain has around 330 stores in total across the United Kingdom.

Deliveroo customers will be able to order from an increased range of between 750 to 1,000 products and have shopping delivered in as little as 20 minutes from Waitrose stores across the country.

Up to 400 new jobs will be created in Waitrose stores to fulfil orders for delivery by Deliveroo.

The service will complement the supermarket group’s own full-service deliveries.

“Our partnership with Deliveroo has already proved extremely popular with the vast majority of customers returning week on week, helping to create a healthy balance of loyalty and attracting new and younger customers,” said Nina Bhatia, the John Lewis Partnership’s executive director for strategy and commercial development.

Other partners on Deliveroo’s grocery platform include Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and Aldi.

Earlier this month Deliveroo said a more-than doubling in first quarter orders during coronavirus lockdowns was an initial step in proving itself following the debacle of its March flotation. (Reporting by James Davey. Editing by Kate Holton and Mark Potter)

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