Waitrose, the upmarket supermarket chain, is seeking creative and media agencies for the launch of the online shopping initiative that it is planning with the fulfilment company Last Mile Solutions.
Two un-named agencies have been approached for the launch, which has a budget of pounds 10 million. Waitrose is understood to be looking for an integrated media solution.
Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB, which handles the main Waitrose business, has not been invited to pitch. An appointment is expected by the end of the year.
The design company Interbrand Newell & Sorrell is developing an identity for the as yet un-named offer, which will compete against the established online brands from Sainsbury's and Tesco.
The launch of the Waitrose initiative is expected to coincide with the online launch of Asda@home and the long-awaited expansion of the Sainsbury's to You online venture. Customers will be able either to specify the goods that they want delivered to their homes or have them set aside in-store for collection.
Waitrose intends to use its partnership with LMS to help its local delivery programme extend beyond its existing catchment area, which has a strong southern bias. Existing online shopping facilities have, so far, tended to offer a delivery service in specific catchment areas.
It is expected to complete the roll-out by next summer.
Waitrose's parent, the John Lewis Partnership, took a 40 per cent equity stake in LMS in July with a view to distributing Waitrose products to consumers outside the range of local home shopping services.
Waitrose also plans to expand its Waitrose@Work service, which delivers to offices, to include home deliveries by the end of the month.