February 12, 2014, 11:00 AM

Sales grow 16.7% in 2013 for online grocer Ocado

The UK retailer also increased new customer acquisition 40% over 2012.

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Total sales in 2013 are up 16.7% for United Kingdom-based online grocer Ocado Ltd. The retailer also grew its active customer base to 385,000 from 355,000 in 2012.

For the year 2013 ended December 1, Ocado, No. 19 in the Internet Retailer Europe 500, reported:

  • Total sales of 792.1 million pounds ($1.31 billion), up 16.7% from 678.8 million pounds ($1.13 billion) in 2012.
  • A net loss of 5.1 million pounds ($8.5 million), a reversal from a profit of 1.8 million pounds ($3.0 million) in 2012.
  • An average of 143,000 orders per week, a 16.3% increase from 123,000 orders per week in 2012.
  • At the end of 2013, the merchant says it had 385,000 active customers, an 8.5% increase from 355,000 a year earlier.
  • Average order size was 113.53 pounds ($187.51), a 1.3% increase from 112.10 pounds ($185.86).
  • Total SKUs grew to 34,000, up from 21.4% from 28,000 in 2012.

In July, Ocado announced an agreement with fellow U.K. grocer Morrisons that enables the retailer to sell groceries online. Under the 25-year agreement, Morrisons invested 218 million pounds ($360 million) in a new Ocado fulfillment center to incorporate Morrisons’ product range and integrate the company’s computer systems, and Ocado will provide IP and operating services to launch Morrisons’ online grocery business.

Ocado CEO Tim Steiner says the deal underscores the increasing demand, both in the U.K. and internationally, for online grocery shopping. He says the company feels well-positioned to evolve with the growing market by adding more products and improving user experience.

“Last year the food retail market in the U.K. was driven by consumers’ increasing preference for shopping online,” Steiner says. “2013 was an extremely busy year for us with significant progress in growing both our customer numbers and average spend thanks to a wider range of products, even better prices, and the fact that we are now even easier to shop.” 

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