Ocado says switch to online shopping is permanent
Online grocer Ocado says the move to Internet shopping in the middle of the coronavirus block has led to a “permanent redesign” of the retail landscape.
His comments came when sales in the first half of 2020 went up 27% to over £ 1 billion.
“The world as we know it has changed,” said CEO Tim Steiner.
“As a result of Covid-19, we have seen years of growth in the online grocery market condensed in a few months and we will not go back.”
“We are confident that the accelerated growth of the online channel will continue, leading to a permanent redesign of the global food industry landscape.”
He said Ocado was now the fastest growing grocer in the UK, thanks to the 50/50 partnership with Marks and Spencer announced last year.
As part of the agreement, which saw M&S take a half stake in Ocado’s retail business, Ocado will begin delivering M&S food products from September, when its current agreement with Waitrose expires.
The group reported a pre-tax loss of £ 40.6 million in the six months to the end of May, blaming an increase in investment to handle the increased demand generated following the coronavirus pandemic.
During the period, the company opened its first two customer fulfillment centers overseas, for Casinos in France and Sobeys in Canada, while increasing capacity in the UK.
- Resellers report an increase in sales in June
The loss was less than the £ 147.4 million recorded in the same period last year, although that figure included £ 99 million in costs incurred following a serious fire in its Andover warehouse.
But after raising £ 1 billion through a share and bond issue last month, Ocado said he had £ 2.3 billion in cash in his balance sheet.
“There is evidence to suggest that many shoppers will likely continue to buy their groceries online once the blockade measures are fully lifted, but it will be difficult for Ocado to keep its sales recorded at the height of the crisis,” said John Moore, senior. investment manager at Brewin Dolphin.
“However, Ocado has a solid balance sheet and the Covid-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated the trends that have led to its exceptional share price growth in recent years, putting the company in a good position for the future.”
A new Lidl per week
Separately, discount grocer Lidl has revealed plans to open a shop a week until Christmas, creating 1,000 jobs.
The 25 new stores will open in England, Scotland and Wales with offices in Selhurst, Harrow Weald, Coleford and Llandudno Junction in the coming weeks.
By the end of 2023, he plans another 100 stores across Britain, creating 4,000 more jobs and bringing the total number of stores to 1,000.
“It is testimony to the continued hard work of our colleagues that we are able to continue moving forward with our expansion plans, despite the difficult circumstances that have been faced in recent months,” said Christian Härtnagel, head of GB Lidl.
Lidl – which opened its first stores in the UK in 1994 – opened new stores across the pandemic in locations such as Birmingham, Torquay and across London.