On the Pulse: Would you allow supermarket delivery staff access to your empty home?

Waitrose today announced plans to test a new delivery service which would allow drivers to enter people’s homes and put shopping away while no one is there.

On the surface it sounds like the epitome of convenience, but not everyone is convinced.

SW Londoner asked Waitrose shoppers and Wimbledon residents what they thought of the supermarket’s new idea.

Would you let Waitrose deliveries go into your house when you aren’t home?

No 70% Yes 30%

Most people thought it was either unnecessary, a security threat or just downright creepy.

The general consensus was that they did not like the thought of a stranger going into their house.

The trial of the new service will use smart lock technology, allowing customers to set an access code for drivers, which will be deleted once the delivery is complete.

Though the driver will wear a body camera, available for customers to watch the next working day, people are still not totally comfortable with the idea.

Hairdresser Nic Zanetti, 35, does not see the appeal.

“I wouldn’t mind in a block of flats,” he said.

But at the thought of deliveries to a house, he was less sure.

“I wouldn’t want anyone in there, or trust them,” he said.

E-commerce worker Dan Hinder, 23, could see the benefit of such an idea, but wasn’t so sure about leaving the task of putting things away up to a delivery driver.

“It might be better if they delivered it and left it somewhere which you could undo yourself,” he said.

“But I don’t know if I’d want them to go through everything,” he added.

Research manager Stella, 34 and transport consultant Severine, 35, thought this was a service perhaps better suited to an older generation or those with a busier lifestyle.

Severine felt it would be an unnecessary service for her.

“In my case, I do it on my own, that’s not going to help me,” she said.

She added: “I’d need to be super super busy to ask for that kind of service. I can do it. I don’t mind.”

Stella felt that this service would be better suited to someone with a bigger house, which perhaps had a side gate and an outdoor fridge but felt this would not work for someone who had an apartment like her.

But research by Richard Lim, chief executive of consultancy firm Retail Economics, found a ‘surprisingly high proportion’ of people would be happy to allow drivers to enter their homes when they are not there.

Loss prevention officer Marouane Jaafri, 32, recognised the benefits of this for people less able.

He said: “There are some people like disabled people, and some old people who can’t do shopping, so it’s a good thing.”

He added: “If Waitrose do this, it is going to be helpful for many people, especially in this area.”

Though the scheme is expected to drive profitability and loyalty for Waitrose, Wimbledon shoppers are yet to be convinced by the ambitious idea.

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