Ocado sales surge 40% as demand for grocery deliveries soar

Online supermarket Ocado said retail revenues surged by 40.4% over the past two months as demand soared due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, it said “more normal shopping patterns have returned” in recent weeks.

The update came ahead of Ocado’s annual general meeting, where shareholders are expected to protest over the £58.7 million pay packet chief executive Tim Steiner received for 2019.

The company said it ramped up its capacity “significantly” in order to support the rise in demand, running its warehouses close to their peak capacity and highest efficiency.

Ocado's chief executive officer Tim Steiner
Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner (Ocado/PA)

Ocado said grocery demand increased significantly “almost overnight” at the start of the outbreak.

It said it adapted its platform rapidly in order to meet the record demand and is now delivering significantly more groceries to households than ever before.

The online grocer said its current priority is operating its retail business safely and therefore has introduced contact-free deliveries, temperature monitoring for staff, and now regular testing of frontline workers.

It said it expects “the long-term shift towards online grocery to accelerate post-crisis” but said it is unable to provide guidance for its outlook for the rest of the year due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Mr Steiner said: “We are facing quite a different challenge to many, as we scale up Ocado.com to play its part in feeding the nation, and as we help our clients launch and roll out their online businesses more rapidly against a backdrop of a likely long-term increase in demand for online.

“Ocado remains in a strong position and, while we should be grateful that our current challenges are around growth, expansion and increased demand, we have great empathy for all who are facing different challenges at this time.

“In retail, we are working with our small suppliers to make sure we pay them earlier than normal and we will work closely with any who are struggling.”

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS