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Waitrose Case Study



Nature of business:

The company we know today as Waitrose began life in West London over 100 years ago as a small grocery store – Waite, Rose & Taylor. The John Lewis Partnership acquired the business in 1937 and the first Waitrose supermarket opened in 1955. The company has since grown to become one of the country’s leading food retailers, with almost 300 branches across the UK dedicated to offering quality, value and customer service.

Waitrose was the first supermarket chain to be granted a Royal Warrant by HM The Queen. In 2011 another warrant was granted to the company as Grocer and Wine & Spirit Merchants to HRH The Prince of Wales.

Recent accolades include being named Best Supermarket in the prestigious Which? Awards 2014 – just one of the very many awards Waitrose has received over the years.

In addition to its food stores, Waitrose also operates a convenient online shopping facility which enables consumers to do their grocery shop from the comfort of their own homes. These orders are delivered to customers in high quality temperature-controlled vehicles, ensuring that the groceries always arrive in perfect condition and at the correct temperature.


The company had previously utilised dual compartment temperature-controlled panel vans, with freezer boxes, for its home delivery operation.

For the expansion of its fleet, Waitrose required large capacity home shopping vehicles which would accommodate totes and have three dedicated temperature zones for frozen, chilled and ambient goods. It was important that the new vehicles would be capable of holding temperatures of -25°C under extreme ambient conditions of +30°C.

Waitrose is the first supermarket that we have dealt with to concern itself correctly with ATP class C approval.
The company is one which is very conscious of maintaining high quality at all times – from the food it offers, through to the environment in which it is transported to customers.

Problems faced by the client and objectives:


Coolertech worked closely with Waitrose to design and develop a vehicle which would satisfy all of its requirements. The resulting build was a Coolertech AiroSprint Box Body which is designed specifically for the Mercedes Sprinter chassis cab. The premium quality, 3.5 tonne vehicle features three compartments, each specifically designed to carry either frozen, chilled or ambient goods. The streamlined body design, which is perfect for driving through narrow, more restricted residential areas, offers impressive internal capacity and generous payload.