Ocado has seen its retail revenues grow 40.4 per cent in its second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic sees it deliver “significantly more groceries to households than ever before”.
The online grocer has seen “unprecedented demand” for its deliveries during the last three months, seeing revenues nearly quadruple from its first quarter.
While the number of items per basket has reportedly now passed its peak, Ocado says its customer fulfilment centres (CFCs) across the UK are still running at peak efficiencies in order to try and match the sharp rise in demand.
Despite delivering more goods to more households than ever before, the quarter has seen Ocado dogged by unhappy customers unable to get delivery slots or even access its website.
Ocado stopped accepting new customers before the lockdown officially started on March 23, and has since left hundreds of existing customers, many of whom pay extra for free weekly deliveries with its Smart Pass, unable to access its platform.
Its unclear what impact this will have on Ocado’s favourability with once loyal shoppers after lockdown, and Ocado has chosen to suspend its guidance the full year “until we can accurately forecast likely outcomes”, citing the continually changing situation regarding lockdown.
Updates on Ocado’s upcoming joint venture with M&S are expected later today at the company’s annual general meeting.
“First of all, I would like to thank my colleagues across the business for their hard work, dedication and perseverance,” chief executive Tim Steiner said.
“This continues to be a very challenging time for everybody in the world and we are committed to doing our part to help get through this crisis.”
Ocado Solutions, the arm of the group which supplies logistics technology to third party grocers, saw its first two international CFC’s launched during the quarter, marking a significant step forward in what is becoming an increasingly key aspect of its operations.
“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,” Steiner added.