Waitrose bins online deal with Today Development Partners
Waitrose has parted ways with AI platform venture Today Development Partners, just four months into a deal that was supposed to help treble the size of its online business over the next three years.
Earlier this year, Marks & Spencer and Ocado confirmed a much touted agreement giving the former a food delivery service for the first time. Waitrose didn’t wait long to announce that a tie up with Today Development Partners (TDP), the brain child of Ocado co-founder Jonathan Faiman, would succeed its Ocado partnership.
As RTIH reported in May, the plan was to develop three automated customer fulfilment centres (CFCs) and create a £1 billion online operation, with Waitrose choosing Retail Director Ben Stimson to head this up, in the new role of Digital Director.
“In mid-May, we announced a proposal to explore opportunities around automated online fulfilment with Today Development Partners,” John Lewis Partnership said as it reported a half-year loss of £25.9 million. “We have recently decided not to continue with that relationship and will instead pursue our online ambitions utilising existing expertise across the partnership.”
“Our business is solid and growing, new people are joining us and our path is clear. We are building a business that will have a number of different partners in different markets and this was always going to be the case. Indeed we are in advanced talks with new partners and there will be announcements in the near future,” Faiman says.
“We enjoyed working with Waitrose until our partnership ended back in July and we wish them the very best in the future. Whilst they are an astounding business, we are very excited about our plans with other partners.”