Ocado grabs share in competitive online retail sector

A flurry of orders in the week before Christmas led to a spike in Ocado’s sales performance over the festive period helping it steal share in the highly competitive online grocery market.

Ocado’s sales grew 21.3 per cent over the festive period.

Sales in the six weeks to 5 January grew 21.3 per cent to £111.1m, which Ocado says reflected extra capacity and strong trading in the run up to Christmas. Average order size rose 0.8 per cent to £111.60 in the period.

Tim Steiner, Ocado chief executive officer, says: “We are please with the progress in our underlying trading reflecting the further improvements to our proposition to customers and consumers’ increasing desire to shop online for their groceries.”

Neil Saunders, managing director of retail analysts Conlumino, says with online playing a bigger role than ever this Christmas – as demonstrated the latest IMRG and Capgemni online retail figures, with sales growth in December up 18 per cent year on year – it would have been disappointing if Ocado had reported anything but strong sales.

However, given that its 21.3 per cent sales growth rate is above that of the overall online grocery market across the period, “credit should be given to [Ocado] for grabbing share of what remains a very competitive sector”, he says.

Saunders adds: “With its strong technology platform, intuitive apps and website, and strong performance in areas like substitutions, Ocado delivers on [propostion]. So long as it keeps delivering and stays ahead of the curve, it should be capable of growing its customer base much further.”

Ocado’s strong platform proposition was one of the reasons Morrisons partnered with Ocado to provide IT and delivery service for the former’s online grocery launch. Morrisons.com went live on 20 December, with the first deliveries made on10 January. 

Steiner says: “We are pleased to have enabled the launch of Morrisons.com on schedule and as planned. This has been possible due to the strength of our best in class technology platform, the efforts of the teams involved at Ocado and the continuing strong collaboration with Morrisons.”

In spite of the robust sales performance, Steiner said the retail environment remains “both challenging and competitive, with consumer sentiment subdued” but that the company expects to continue growing broad line in line with, or slightly ahead of, the market.

Elsewhere today (16 January), Argos owner Home Retail Group and Currys and PC World owner Dixons Retail both credited ecommerce for fuelling their sales growth over the festive period. 

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here