Grocery shopping has changed for good, says Ocado

The grocery landscape worldwide is changing “for good”, online supermarket Ocado has said, after a year in which the global pandemic forced many people to buy online for the first time.

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Ocado’s comments came as it reported a 35% jump in sales over the past year.

Amid rocketing demand the UK-based firm, which is 21 years old this year, narrowed losses from £214.5m to £44m.

The company said many customers were saying they were unlikely to revert to pre-crisis shopping habits.

Ocado’s chief executive, Tim Steiner, said he wanted to “pay tribute to the remarkable work of our colleagues in exceptionally challenging circumstances”. 

Lockdown has thrown up challenges for all supermarkets and Ocado itself has struggled to deliver smoothly at all times. 

The firm, which previously delivered for Waitrose, had to cancel some orders when its new partnership with Marks & Spencer launched on 1 September, angering customers.

Ocado said in its full year statement on Tuesday: “The pandemic has accelerated the rate of channel shift to online.

“Online grocery market share in the UK has nearly doubled over the last year to 14%, according to Kantar. Similar trends are observable in the United States as well as many other countries around the world.”

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