Ocado has a very merry Christmas as sales rise 21%

With the addition of Morrisons online to its stable, it looks like 2014 is going to be Ocado's year.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 11 Dec 2014

- Read the profile of Ocado’s founders in MT's October 2013 issue

Retailers’ Christmas figures are coming in thick and fast this morning, and it looks like one of the big winners was online grocer Ocado, whose sales rose by a not-too-shabby 21.3% to £111.1m during the six weeks to January 5.

It’s no less than you’d expect from the retailer: its 2013 took an interesting turn when it signed a deal to do the deliveries for Morrisons’ long-awaited online offering, thereby sticking two fingers up at Waitrose, whose parent company John Lewis sold its stake in the company back in 2011.

In a statement this morning, Ocado said Morrisons.com had launched ‘on schedule and as planned’, with the first deliveries taking place in Warwickshire last week (Dalton Philips, the supermarket’s boss, personally delivered the first order at 5.30am. Bet the customer was delighted). The supermarket posted disappointing Christmas figures, with like-for-like sales falling 5.6% in the six weeks to the beginning of January, so presumably Philips et al are keeping their fingers crossed that Morrisons.com will become a big hit.

Ocado also said that in the year to the beginning of December, it had made sales of £852.5m, an 18.6% rise on the £719m it made during the previous year. Expect that to rise again this year - although Ocado’s boss, Tim Steiner, offered the caveat that ‘the retail environment remains both challenging and competitive, with consumer sentiment subdued’. One never can be too cautious...

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