Ocado_case - Notes on Ocado Ocado is an Internet...

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Notes on Ocado Ocado is an Internet supermarket based in Hatfield, north of London, and now covering the London area and also (since autumn 2003) major cities in the Midlands such as Coventry, Birmingham, and Leicester. While it is advertised as operating in association with Waitrose, it has been set up as an autonomous company in which Waitrose has a 40% stake. The company was started by three former bond traders who had worked at Goldman Sachs, and was originally named ‘Last Mile Solutions’ because of its emphasis on re-engineering the final stage of the delivery process to customers’ homes. Although long-established – it has been in existence for around 100 years and has been owned by the John Lewis Partnership since the 1930s – Waitrose covers a relatively small geographical area, up to around 150 miles from London. Also, while Waitrose has expanded the number of stores that it operates in recent years, these stores are typically medium-sized supermarkets; they have few very large outlets and they have not, on the whole, developed small outlets in the same way that the large national chains have. Where they have opened new large outlets recently, they have branded these as ‘food and home’ and have sold household goods, similar to those stocked in John Lewis department stores, alongside groceries. Superficially, Waitrose, as a regional player in the traditional supermarket business, would appear a good candidate to introduce an Internet supermarket with greater geographic coverage. In practice, however, Ocado started with a very limited geographic range, first just in towns close to its distribution centre in Hatfield, then just expanding into

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