Posh food deliverers Ocado might be blowing too much of their cash on technology, experts have warned.
Although financial results released in July showed that the online supermarket’s sales had increased, debt had risen and profits had dropped.
This has led John Ibbotson, director of Retail Vision consultancy no less, to claim that: ‘It is far harder to make online grocery pay when you pit high-spec customer fulfilment centres and self-driving delivery vans against low-cost warehouses and low-paid humans.’
Basically, if the shop spent as much time concentrating on paying people poor wages to deliver kale and avocados as it did developing, say, electric flying patisserie fortresses, it’d make more money.
The firm’s technology division employs around 1,000 developers and engineers.
Ocado’s James Donkin said: ‘We are always looking at the next disruptive thing that’s going to come along – and we then disrupt ourselves before someone else gets there first.’
So, food for thought.