Ocado reduces domestic footprint

Ocado has taken a first step to controlling its footprint - by issuing its drivers with plastic booties...

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

The John Lewis-backed food delivery business has started kitting out the drivers of its vans with ‘clean boot mitts’, the ugly blue plastic things you get in hospitals, to make sure that they don’t get mud on your nice new wooden floor when they’re bringing in your groceries.

It’s a step beyond the ‘wipe your feet’ approach employed by the casual visitor, and streets ahead of the ‘trample as much mess into your carpet as possible’ approach favoured by most delivery people. ‘So if you're particularly proud of your parquet, just ask your driver to pop on a pair, to make sure the only thing they leave behind are your groceries’, the loveable Ocado beamed in its missive today.

Of course, it’s nothing you wouldn’t expect from Ocado, which prides itself on the customer service standards of its drivers – most of whom are about the most polite, unassuming and helpful people you could possibly imagine. And since they’re effectively the face of the company to the average punter, it’s a very sensible strategy. Although the company might make a bit more money if they just dumped the bags on the doorstep and shot off to do another delivery…

But this charm offensive is exactly what it needs in a year when it’s widely expected to float (finally). According to recent reports, it’s arranging a new long-term supply contract with Waitrose (to replace the current one-year rolling contract) – which would make it a much more attractive proposition to stock market investors.

And one thing’s for sure: when the time finally comes for Ocado to meet and greet the power-brokers in the City, at least there’s no chance of them getting mud on the boardroom carpet.

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