Online Supermarket Sales Sore Amidst Lockdown

Amid Coronavirus lockdown across Britain, the British online supermarket Ocado has seen a jump in retail revenue to as much as 40.4 percent in its second quarter to date as it ramped up capacity to meet the unprecedented demand.

Since March 23rd Britain has been on lockdown. However, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said, the peak of the pandemic is now over and the country can see a gradual ease of restrictions.

In March, the online supermarket was forced to cease registration from new customers and started a queuing system after the increase in web traffic by several hundred percentage.

“It took us a few weeks to adapt to a completely new situation, and I know we didn’t serve our customers as well as we’d liked (to),” finance chief Duncan Tatton-Brown told reporters.

Post-crisis, all the top four grocery service providers, named Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons – have been gradually increasing their online capacity to meet some of the extra demand. But even if delivery capacity doubled, atleast 85% of the entire market would still have to be served by stores.

“There is too much demand in the UK for online (grocery) for the UK operations to serve that,” said Tatton-Brown.

“So as an industry we can’t meet the demand, and Ocado is one of the players in the industry and therefore shares that disappointment.”

Since the pandemic, Ocado has increased its capacity to enable the delivery of over 40 percent more groceries in UK, with its warehouses running at their peak and at their best efficiencies. Ocado Retail is a joint venture between Ocado Group and Marks & Spencer. Ocado’s supply deal with Waitrose will finish at the end of August, when it will be replaced with M&S.