Ocado Retail has seen revenues soar more than 50 per cent as excitement around the new joint venture with Marks & Spencer drove “strong forward demand”.
M&S and Ocado’s new jointly owned retail venture saw revenues rise 52 per cent to £587.3 million in the 13 weeks to August 30, rising from growth of 40 per cent in the previous quarter.
This sharp increase in sales was again driven by the dramatic shift online due to the coronavirus, aided further by excitement surrounding the switchover of 4000 Waitrose goods with 4400 M&S goods at the start of this month.
According to Ocado Retail, average orders per week rose 9.6 per cent to 345,000 while average order sizes increased “thanks to a combination of strong demand, a phased reopening of the website to new customers, and a normalising of shopping patterns”.
Despite this, peaks in order sizes seen at the height of the pandemic have continued to “normalise” and now sit at an average of £141, still well above pre-coronavirus levels.
Looking ahead Ocado said it remained “on track to increase capacity by 40 per cent through 2021” and that while uncertainties remained over the ongoing impact of the virus it expected full year EBITDA for Ocado Group to top “at least £40 million”.
It added that M&S’ new range, which went on sale on September 1, showed promising signs and that the “weighting of M&S products in the average Ocado basket is higher than Waitrose prior to the switchover”.
“These are transformational times for Ocado Retail with M&S products now exclusively available online at Ocado.com,” Ocado Retail’s chief executive Melanie Smith said.
“Our aim is to continue to set the bar as we begin again to welcome new customers who are seeing the benefits of online shopping in ever greater numbers and we remain focused and on track to increase capacity by 40% through to 2021.
“Finally, I would like to thank my colleagues for their hard work and dedication in making this happen, even under the most challenging circumstances. I am proud of you all”.