Waitrose is expanding its online service catering for customers in London with the opening of a new warehouse in the west of the UK capital.

The upmarket UK grocer, which is building an online business for customers within the M25, has opened a “virtual shop” in Acton where employees will pick products for online orders.

The move is part of Waitrose’s moves to develop its online business within the lucrative M25 after a non-competition agreement with Ocado ended.

Ocado, the purely online grocer, sells Waitrose products around the UK and has a deal to do so until 2020.

However, the two businesses are now competing in the M25 region and Waitrose MD Mark Price said the opening of the Acton warehouse was a “significant step” in the retailer’s “multi-channel offer”.

“The density of population and rapid growth of online shopping in London calls for an additional approach to e-commerce to ensure that we offer our customers the same standards of service that they’ve come to expect from our branches,” Price said.

“This is a significant step in the development of our multi-channel offer, and will play an important role in the continued growth of our e-commerce sales over the next decade.”