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Indelible Alteration to Consumer Habits Will Benefit Online Outlets, Ocado CEO Claims

17 July 2020 - 12:09 by Graham Miller

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Ocado’s chief executive, Tim Steiner, has become the latest industry insider to argue that while the lockdown measures put in place during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic have now been eased, consumers across the UK will continue to turn to safe shopping online in greater numbers than ever before due to habits formed during this period of crisis.

BBC News reports that Steiner said that the online grocery market had been particularly well positioned to benefit from this state of affairs, with a short burst of rapid growth occurring as soon as consumers found that visits to bricks and mortar stores had been significantly impacted.

He also went on to predict that this growth would not abate in the near future and that consumer habits had effectively been changed permanently rather than this being a mere blip.

In terms of Ocado’s own successes in recent months, statistics suggest that it was able to grow sales at a greater rate than any of its rivals, in part as a result of the fact that it will be switching to partner with Marks & Spencer as its deal with Waitrose comes to a close.

It is worth pointing out that even with a serious uptick in sales seen during the lockdown period, Ocado was still unable to make a profit in the first half of the year, largely because it needed to spend a lot of money to increase its capacity to cope with the number of new orders being placed.

In spite of this, it has still managed to raise new investment and has healthy cash reserves, which put it in a strong position to thrive as it continues to capitalise on the UK’s buoyant online grocery market.