Waitrose ‘shooting themselves in the foot’ with delivery fee

Waitrose has been warned it is making a “big mistake” by introducing a delivery charge which could cost customers £156 a year.

The grocer will bring in what it called a “fair charge” of £3 per order from September 9.

Of the UK’s major supermarkets, only Iceland will continue to offer free deliveries.

Although Waitrose thanked shoppers for their “loyalty” when it announced the fee, some called it “quite a leap for loyal customers”.

READ MORE: UK facing Christmas turkey crisis, Waitrose boss warns

“I’ll be swapping my online orders to @Morrisons or @Tesco now,” food blogger Karen Burns-Booth tweeted.

“What a shame, you’ve totally let down people who rely on online deliveries or who find it difficult to travel.”

Another shopper claimed: “We have a weekly delivery which now means our shopping will cost an extra £156 a year.”

While most supermarkets charge delivery fees, some offer a cheaper subscription rate.

Tesco orders cost £7.99 a month, for example, while Ocado’s “smart pass” is £8.99 a month.

Waitrose has “no immediate plans” to introduce a monthly charge, despite its popularity with social media users.

One South London shopper, who was “not impressed” by the £3 fee, told Waitrose to bring in “a pass like Ocado”.

“I know most of the other supermarkets charge but they also offer delivery passes to reduce the cost per week,” said another customer.

“Will you be doing this please?”

“From 9 September we’ll be introducing a £3 charge for Waitrose.com deliveries,” a Waitrose spokesperson said.

“Like other supermarkets, we believe this is a fair way of charging for grocery deliveries, reflecting the work that goes into picking, packing and delivering customer orders.” 

They added that Waitrose’s collection service was still free on orders above £40.

It is not the first time the supermarket has courted controversy with its delivery changes.

Waitrose was accused of “poor customer service” in April when it stopped dropping off newspapers before 3pm.

Although the retailer claimed the newspapers often did not arrive in time for earlier slots, multiple customers said they had had “no problem” with their orders.

Click here to sign up to Grocery Gazette’s free daily email newsletter



27 Comments. Leave new

  • This is clear evidence that “the bean counters” have total control on how Waitrose / JLP behave. Because of the lack of retail experience at the very top, decisions are made without any real understanding of their impact. The values that used to be in the Partnership are slipping away.

  • Charles Fleming
    September 3, 2021 12:36 pm

    With the strong brand of Waitrose, and so much of what it sells as own brand, the charge is more than shooting themselves in the foot. They need to convince customers to buy more to increase basket spend to justify the cost of delivery. It is quite difficult to spend more than £40 to £50 in Iceland but online the website is very good and £70+ is very easy to spend.

    The £3 charge is Waitrose STILL not understanding how internet retail works.

  • And still you cannot order from the meat fish and deli counters

  • Michael Richards
    September 9, 2021 6:43 pm

    I am a customer that has had two orders a week having swapped from personal shopping as I am classed as vulnerable. The two orders are necessary as fresh fruit does not keep. I have already taken out an annual subscription with Sainsburys which is £60 and at two deliveries a week that amounts to 60p per delivery. We shall see how Sainsburys do. Its too late for Waitrose and us at least for the next year.

  • Waitrose has just lost our £90 per week. Serves them right for being greedy. Will revert back to the £1 supersaver slot at Sainsburys.

  • I heard from good sources that they removed the majority of the Partners with the ability and experience to champion the customer such as Rup Ellwood who equally challenged the bean counters. It is tragic to watch a good team be torn apart by average bosses like James Bailey and Sharon White to save Wicks’ failing John Lewis model.

  • I shall be looking at other retailers now the free delivery has ended!

  • I was just about to cancel my delivery pass with Ocado and use Waitrose – but not now!!

  • Stealth. There should be a performance indicator to how much you take from the delivery charge of £3; a % reduction for items out of date; squished; & the big bug bear – out of stock when showing “in stock”.

    Won’t be ordering from Waitrose again; cheaper and more reliable elsewhere and you pack the shopping really badly.


  • Its a shame that Waitrose have introduced this charge. I think a lot of people will reconsider using Waitrose, purely to send a message that this is not fair on those those that regulalrly have weekly delivries, like us. We regularly spend on average £70 to £100 a week. I know its a small charge and typically represents only about 3% of the weekly shop, but it is another £156 per annum added to our bill. Not Good.

  • I’ve shopped online with Waitrose weekly for the past two years, my food order is around £75 per week.

    Unfortunately they will now lose my custom for the sake of this charge, not because it’s £3 but because I know like all other online supermarkets Waitrose inflate prices of the items sold by a few pence to pay for packing and delivery already.

    Also because I first knew of this by way of seeing the charge on my food order (which has been cancelled) for next week today, otherwise no notification whatsoever.

    I think I’ll simply start calling into M&S on a daily basis after finishing work for shopping as I used to before Waitrose.

  • Martin Fletcher
    September 18, 2021 7:52 am

    £3 delivery charge for often short dated or unavailable items, hmm, gladly pay it if they could offer a service that could guarantee neither, but after a weekly deliveries for 16 months they clearly can’t (even on basics like eggs leaving you needing to go to a supermarket, or ordering a weeks evening meals all with a 2-3 day shelf life)

  • Waitrose is Waitrose – £3 extra – ok but there’s a reason we shop at Waitrose _ are you going to jeopardise that?

  • As a long established customer with Tesco I have a midweek plan, Tuesday through Thursday for just £12 per annum using Clubcard points. It’s delivery service is not perfect, goods wise, but until Waitrose institute delivery plans I shall have to give them a miss, plus their nearest store is two bus rides away; not too good for a somewhat disabled 69 yr old.

  • “[..] reflecting the work that goes into picking, packing and delivering customer orders.”

    Before you know it, they’ll add a £2 surcharge for shopping in store to reflect the work that goes into stocking shelves and manning tills.

  • Gillian Gatehouse
    September 30, 2021 8:09 am

    My weekly Waitrose delivery was a God save to me during lockdown. I shall continue to have deliveries – the drivers are always polite, helpful and on time, and the food is packed well for delivery. No, I don’t like the idea of paying £3 a week, so will probably order fortnightly instead.

  • Waitrose are being mean spirited. I shall think twice before ordering online now.
    Sad as they were exceptionally good during the Pandemic with polite, helpful drivers.
    Received no notification of this change.

  • I too did not receive any notification of this & have just noticed the £3 added to today’s delivery.
    Not a good move without giving some sort of monthly/yearly pass. I spend around £100 a week every week so is there nothing for very regular shoppers?

  • I don’t have a problem per se with a delivery charge although I am not in favour of a policy whereby only small value orders pay the charge as this will be unfair on single households. However, Waitrose has charged me for deliveries since May as my local store was part of the “trial” to determine what an appropriate charge should be. I only found out later that the charge was not country wide and immediately asked if I would be refunded when/if brought in nationally. At that time they had not formulated a policy on that. I paid £57 in delivery charges before it went countrywide and so I emailed asking for a refund. I was told “No but we would like to offer a £15 gift card as an offer of goodwill!! What an insult. Am still pursuing this and trying to get a proper response as to why they have taken this discriminatory decision. Needless to say it is difficult to get past the “lines to take” response. Yet they still maintain they are a caring, fair organization that value their customers!!

  • It looks as though Waitrose, aka John Lewis, is working to reduce customer numbers in order that they can come up with an excuse to close more stores and enhance there profits by selling them on and th £3 charge is the start of their programme to enable this.!

  • Your prices are already astronomical compared to other retailers. We’ll soon see you joining the likes of Debenhams, Maplins, and many others who decided that customers don’t get a say. Bye bye Waitrose!

  • Waitrose were great during the lockdown, but adding this delivery charge was a kick in the teeth. Seems like a great way to break consumer habits built up over two years. Time for me to try something new…

  • Very disappointed with the £3. delivery charge. I am in my 80th year and have to shop on foot. Your customer service mentions “a small charge” but to a great many pensioners it is more than that. I have to spend at least £40 to get a delivery and now a charge in addition makes me limit how many deliveries I can have. When I first moved to Saffron I had “favourite picks” which were just so welcomel, but when they were scrapped we were told we would have vouchers tailored to our needs. I have never received an appropriate voucher since day one. What benefits do I now have with my Waitrose card and membership? Not happy.

  • I have worked for JLP/ Waitrose.
    I think they have missed a trick by not charging for customers returning items without charge. The amount of work that goes into actually returning items is not charged, which could be a way of ending all the work of delivery, checking in packages, which customers have purchased. Then when returning items, there is no charge, which can not make any sense.

  • Barbara Egerton
    December 17, 2022 2:21 pm

    Think I’ll stick to Sainsbury’s after all!

  • I think £3 delivery charge is very reasonable . How much would it cost in time & petrol to go to your nearest store, spend an hour doing your shopping,packing it all into your bags ,& taking it to the car ?.? Most people think nothing of spending £3 + on a cup of coffee !!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.



Sign up to our daily newsletter to get all the latest grocery news and insights direct to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.