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Ocado bucks retail trends with first quarter sales growth of nearly 20%

Published:  10 March, 2015

Ocado saw sales jump 19.2% to £271.1m in the 12 weeks ending on February 22, 2015 compared to the same period last year - despite the average basket size declining by 2.4%.

The online retailer's strong performance is impressive compared to the challenges facing the overall retail market and its stock has already risen in this morning trading on the back of the positive results.

Tim Steiner, Ocado's chief executive said the business continued to grow, against a backdrop of a retail market that remains "challenging and competitive.

"We remain committed to improving the quality of the proposition to customers, which we believe will support further growth," he said. "Notwithstanding the uncertainty that remains in the marketplace, we expect to continue growing slightly ahead of the online grocery market."

The average number of orders per week grew from 155,000 orders to 183,000, up 18.1%, but the average basket size declined, falling from £117.53 in the first quarer of 2014 to £114.72 in the 12 weeks to 22 February 2015. However this may not be all bad news, as several online retailers have started to introduce month passes that shoppers can buy, which allow them to do unlimited number of online shops with no additional delivery fee once the pass was purchased.

The British Great Grocery Revolution, Kantar Wolrdpanel

This move entices shoppers not just to do large shops online, but also to do everyday top up shops as well.

Chris Poad, of the online behemoth Amazon, at last week's March For Independents conference indicated that those retailers that can provide everyday logistics, and offer a number of delivery options would be a step ahead of the competition. Poad indicated it was something that Amazon was currently looking at internally.

Thoughts On British supermarkets

The British Great Grocery Revolution report, Kanta Worldpanel

A recent  Kantar Worldpanel report, The British Great Grocery Revolution, said one of the biggest shifts in shoppers behaviours is that the online sector is outpacing every other channel when it comes to growth. This is somewhat contrary to the belief that convenience sector is what is helping to reshape retail.