UK supermarket Waitrose partners Deliveroo for 30-minute delivery

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LONDON (Reuters) - British supermarket Waitrose is teaming up with Deliveroo to trial fast home-delivery as its long partnership with online grocery specialist Ocado OCDO.L comes to an end.

The supermarket, part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, said Deliveroo customers would be able to order more than 500 food and drink products for delivery in as little as 30 minutes in the period between one hour after stores open and one hour before they close.

The service, which will complement the supermarket’s own two-hour and full-service deliveries, will be available to over half a million households in a 12-week trial, Waitrose said on Friday.

Waitrose Executive Director James Bailey said the Deliveroo partnership was “another opportunity to give our customers a taste of what the future of convenience shopping couldlook like for us”.

Deliveroo, which is backed by AMZN.O, is a leading player in restaurant food-ordering and delivery, and its cycle couriers are a common sight on UK streets.

It already offers 30-minute grocery deliveries from supermarket group Coop and it has started trials with Aldi UK.

Waitrose is a long-standing supplier to Ocado, an online supermarket that has benefited from a surge in demand for home delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That deal, however, comes to an end next week when its rival Marks & Spencer MKS.L starts supplying Ocado shoppers with around 6,500 of its products.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Stephen Addison