No supermarket in the UK has been more consistent throughout 2020 and none has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic better than Waitrose, according to consumer group Which?
Which? named Waitrose the Supermarket of the Year for its work over the past nine months, giving the retailer top billing ahead of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Iceland.
"I couldn’t be prouder of the 53,000 Partners in our business," said James Bailey new executive director of Waitrose. "Every single one of them has gone above and beyond this year. They’ve had to adapt to completely different working lives; implementing social distancing, ramping up online orders and ensuring those who are vulnerable or shielding had access to food."
During the pandemic, Waitrose has more than trebled the number of online slots from 60,000 each week to 190,000. In addition at the height of the crisis ‘shops within shops’ were set up for NHS staff to give them priority access to hard to find items. it also gave additional funding to FareShare and the Trussell Trust to help those in local communities in isolation and facing food insecurity.
Bailey dedicating the award to Britain’s resilient food industry, including its farmers and producers, who continue to supply food throughout the pandemic.
"We couldn’t be a supermarket without the thousands of producers and farmers who’ve all shown incredible resilience to get food on to people’s plates, so I’d like to think this award is for them as well," he said. "Their efforts to keep our shops stocked, while at the same time helping us treble our online capacity during the most challenging year in food retail I can remember, have been nothing short of monumental."