Ocado’s boss Tim Steiner has denounced Amazon as a “very, very small player” in the UK grocery market as he brushed aside concerns it could majorly disrupt the sector.
Yesterday Ocado, now the UK’s second most valuable grocer, revealed a 40 per cent rise in revenues over its first quarter while unveiling ambitious plans to launch a dozen micro-fulfilment centres across the UK.
It came the same week as Amazon opened the doors to its second high-tech Fresh grocery store in the UK, just over a week after launching its first ever store outside the US on the other side of London.
This rapid roll out is expected to continue throughout the year, seeing Amazon amass up to 30 stores in the UK.
Despite this, Steiner told investors its impact on the grocery market had been “very small”, and that its home delivery offering was at an “unnoticeable level”.
Both companies rely heavily on their cutting-edge automated technology to differentiate themselves from their rivals, seeing Amazon introduce its signature “Just Walk Out” technology to the UK for the first time.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Steiner said that while this tech was “clever”, it “won’t have a big impact on the market”.
Steiner also dismissed the growing prominence of rapid delivery services like Dija and Weezy, stating: “Whilst there is an interesting market for a 10-minute or a 15-minute service, compared to a half an hour service, there’s not often a consumer need where it’s really worthwhile spending £10 on delivery rather than £2.50 on delivery to get it in 15 minutes, rather than 30 minutes.”