LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) – Waitrose, the upmarket grocery arm of employee-owned British retailer John Lewis [JLP.UL], is scrapping all delivery charges for online shopping, becoming the first British supermarket to do so. The 105-year old supermarket said it currently makes about 10,000 online deliveries per week charging up to 5 pounds ($7.37) per delivery, meaning the move, which takes effect from April 15, would cost it some 50,000 pounds per week.
Abolishing the charges will likely put pressure on larger rivals such as Tesco (TSCO.L) to follow suit.
“We appreciate this may be an expensive move for others to follow but it will reduce customers’ internet grocery bills by around 5 to 10 percent,” said Waitrose Managing Director Mark Price in a statement. ($1=.6789 pounds) (Reporting by Victoria Bryan; editing by Mike Nesbit)