Waitrose Introduces Cycle Trailers

Every little helps and the brains at Waitrose Supermarkets have taken mantra this to a whole new level in 2009. Not normally one to do my weekly shop at any supermarket chain, and being firmly anti these giants of the highstreet that are graduley sucking the life out of our communities, I am going to have to make one visit to my local Waitrose in Balham after the shop run by John Lewis Partnership has introduced cycle trailers for customers. Convenient and easy to use, Waitrose shoppers can reserve their trailer before they start to shop and collect it before leaving the branch pedaling their shopping home.

Cycle Trailer 2_0003

Self-scanning in Waitrose  stores even means that you can wheel your trailer around the isles of the supermarket, zapping your fair trade sun-dried tomatoes, hand reared jumbo prawns and no airmiles mangos as you toss them into the canvas bag.  Pay at the automatic checkout, hitch up your trailer to your seat post and hit the road and the next time you touch your ciabatta and oil infused humus is when you unload it in your kitchen! 

Cycle Trailer 4_0003

Waitrose Assistant Project Manager, Nicky Snelgrove says: 

"January is the time that many people are setting themselves targets for the New Year such as getting fit through doing more exercise. Our cycle trailers are an excellent way of helping our customers stay healthy and has the additional bonus of being able to play a positive role in the environment in 2009.” 

By introducing the cycle trailers into more of our branches we hope to encourage shoppers to think about using alternative methods of transport. We're confident they will be well received as many customers already engage in other initiatives such as our Bag for Life scheme. Shoppers using the trailers will probably get their food home quicker than most, not to mention saving fuel and transport costs."

On a consumer level the question is wether or not the Discovery driving demographic who shop in Waitrose are willing go the whole hog. They may well be willing to feed their children a fair trade, organic locally sourced pack-lunch but are they willing to swap the comfort of their gas gusseling, cyclist-squashing 4×4 and get in the saddle?

And on a supply level will the Asdas, Tesco's and Siansbury's motherships take note of Waitrose green initiative and provide their customers with a green alternative to driving to their stores, parking in their vast concrete carparks and filling up at the store-owned petrol stations.

Who knows, in time supermarkets may even provide safe, dry and secure places to park our bikes? Only time will tell, but if this movement for customers being able to cycle to supermarkets and cycle home is going to take off more and more of us need to give this iniciative a try.

So on your bike and happy shopping…

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 10th, 2009 at 13:48 and is filed under Cycling in London. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. harrie

    i think it’s a great idea – even with flo i find the weekly shop a hassle if i’m doing it myself (actually i normally use their (sainsbury’s) delivery service which they allege also works out greener because one vehicle does everyone’s trip – i think they forgot that this makes the vehicle go further…)
    i used to go to that balham waitrose quite a bit because tooting and streatham sainsbury’s were a bit pants. the sainbury’s at balham is better, but waitrose food is generally nicer (naturally, you pay for this). it’s quite a nice waitrose, one entire side is glass which makes it feel quite big and open. but be warned it is permanently full of screaming kids.

  2. One of the problems with this sort of thing in the UK is that it remains a minority activity because life as a cyclist simply isn’t made easy. this is what it is like in the Netherlands when you want to go shopping. No hassle at all.
    It’s also amusing that the poor bloke is shown riding an impractical bike with no mudguards or chainguard in his nice suit. That’s very silly indeed…

  3. A minority for the time being – all being well in a few years cycling in our capital will be up there with Dutch cities, but with hard economic times ahead I fear cycling will perhaps be let down when funding is cut and what finance is left goes to schools, health and other social projects. We just need the powers that be to focus on the long term social benefits of a cycle friendly capital and not short term political gain.Tom Kevill-Davies
    The Hungry Cyclist – Pedalling The World For The Perfect Meal

  4. What’s happened here is the result of over 30 years of consistent policy.
    If you look at Amsterdam 30+ years ago or what the city we live in used to look like you see that there wasn’t always a policy to encourage cycling as there is now. In the early 70s cycling had reached a low point here before it started rising again with the new infrastructure.
    It is quite commonly stated here that the cycling provision is also a fiscal measure. It is cheaper to do this than not to do it. The savings in medical costs, oil imports etc. are enormous. What’s more, massive road schemes are needed less often. It is taken really really seriously. No tokenism or short term schemes.
    Great blog, btw. Cycling and food go together very well.

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