Following in the footsteps of similar services offered in Scandinavia and the USA, Waitrose is launching a trial allowing their drivers access to your home to unpack your groceries while you are out. Their trial will begin in south London to test the viability and demand for this kind of service.

While it is admittedly annoying to have to wait around at home for that late delivery, the question is whether people would be happy with strangers entering their home to pack away their perishables.

‘In-home’ delivery service stops frozen foods from defrosting

Waitrose believes they are the first UK supermarket to trial the “in-homedelivery service, which they will be launching as a trial in the south London area. As reported by the BBC, they will test the viability of delivering to 100 customers located in the area close to their Coulsdon, Croyden, fulfillment centre.

Dubbing the new service “While You’re Away,” customers with a Yale “smart lock” will be able to offer a temporary access code to the Waitrose driver using a secure app. This code will then be sent to a device handled by the delivery driver as they arrive at the customer’s home, giving them access to unpack the perishable and frozen goods.

Any non-perishable goods will be left on the kitchen counter for the homeowner’s return or elsewhere, depending on the customer’s instructions. Once the delivery is complete, that code is deleted.

Drivers to wear cameras on their chests

To ensure the whole process is secure and above-board, drivers will wear a chest-mounted camera to capture video of the delivery.

That video is then available to the customer the following working day on request.

Initially, there will be a minimum £25 order for the “While You’re Away” service, with a minimum of six deliveries to that home.

However, Waitrose did say they would review the minimum once the trial is complete. The supermarket giant anticipates being able to offer the service to over 1,000 customers by next spring, depend on how well the trial goes.

Increasing demand for convenience in deliveries

The Guardian quotes the head of business development at Waitrose, Archie Mason as saying in a statement there is an increasing demand from customers to make shopping at their supermarkets more convenient, in order to fit into their busy lifestyles.

Mason said that instead of having to wait for a delivery and then try to put all the groceries away, the new service would give their customers more flexibility in how they organise their time.

He said this would include the time spent cooking the food they had bought and then eating it. Due to the fact that an “in-home” delivery service has become popular in Scandinavia and the USA, Mason said they are keen to find out if there is “an appetite” for a similar UK service.

Meanwhile, the managing director of Yale UK, Nigel Fisher, whose company would supply the necessary “smart locks,” said it was exciting to work with Waitrose & Partners to trial the first “in-home” service in the UK. Fisher said they understand that smart products not only protect our homes but can enhance people’s daily lives.

Waitrose customers keen to find out if they are in the area covered by the trial can find out on the Waitrose website, and if necessary can then register for future rollouts of the “While You’re Away” service.

Judging by some posts on Twitter, it does make one wonder if people would feel comfortable with a stranger having access to their home, even with all the security aspects involved.