Waitrose.com has processed more than 150,000 online orders in a week for the first time, more than double the amount of weekly orders it was fulfilling at the start of this year.

Despite this milestone, Waitrose revealed that the demand for online delivery is outstripping supply, forcing the retailer to prioritise vulnerable customers who need deliveries the most, including those on the Government lists of clinically vulnerable people.

The Waitrose Rapid service has recently trebled its deliveries to 7,000 per week, with at least 40% of the slots reserved for vulnerable customers. The service offers up to 25 products for delivery within two hours.

The retailer is also in the process of adding 150 new delivery vans to its fleet, which will enable it to offer further increases in delivery slots to customers over the coming weeks. This follows its expansion of two Customer Fulfilment Centres in Coulsdon and Enfield to support the additional demand in London.

Ben Stimson, director for Waitrose.com, said: “The expansion plans we had in place for Waitrose.com have allowed us to respond as best we can to the huge surge in demand in recent months – especially from vulnerable groups who need home delivery services. We’re seeing a fundamental shift to many people’s shopping habits, and we’re incredibly proud of how our shops have scaled up our online operations at such speed.”