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Waitrose is to test a delivery service which will allow drivers to enter a customer’s home while they are out, place groceries inside the fridge, freezer or on the kitchen counter.

The home delivery service, called ‘While you are away’ will be tested by 100 people in south London, each of whom will have a Yale keyless connected smart lock installed, worth £200.

The smart lock technology allows customers to set an access code for their door lock which is deleted when the delivery is complete.

The participants will get free delivery throughout the trial and they can also request a video of the delivery as the

drivers will wear a video camera.

If the trial is successful, Waitrose & Partners anticipates being able to make the service available to more than 1,000 customers in spring 2019.

Archie Mason, head of business development from Waitrose & Partners, said:’There is certainly an increasing demand among our customers to make shopping with us even more convenient to fit around their busy lifestyles. Rather than waiting for a delivery or trying to put everything away, it gives customers more flexibility to use that time differently, including more time enjoying cooking and eating the food they’ve bought. The concept of ‘in-home delivery’ has started to prove popular in other countries so we are keen to establish if there is an appetite for it in the UK.’

Nigel Fisher, Managing Director for Yale UK, said: ‘Working with Waitrose & Partners to develop the UK’s first in-home delivery service is an exciting premise for Yale, as we look to understand how smart products can enhance daily lives, as well as protecting your home. Our heritage and priority is in security, but the technologies we’re now working with means we can also collaborate with companies, like Waitrose, to also develop services that fit with modern life.’

Waitrose also announced last month that customers can have their food and drink delivered straight to their door within two hours or on the same day for the first time as part of a new trial called ‘Waitrose Rapid Delivery’.

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