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EDITORIAL Ocado, Nike, Asda, Baker Ross: building ecommerce capacity to meet customer demand

Image: Fotolia

Image: Fotolia

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting as retailers from Ocado to Baker Ross expand their infrastructure as they scale up to serve shoppers now happy to buy more online.

Ocado has seen strong demand from shoppers who are moving more of their grocery shopping online, during both lockdowns and peak trading. Retail sales grew by 40% during peak trading and into Lockdown 3.0, although its growth is currently limited by its distribution capacity. The retailer and technology business set out this week how it would expand its distribution centres over the coming year, including through a series of mini-sites, the first of which has opened in Bristol.

Baker Ross, meanwhile, is also expanding in response to “significant” ecommerce growth – prompting it to take on new warehousing facilities and expand its workforce by as much as 50%. Joules, meanwhile, will enable customers to click and collect their order on staycation at new Center Parcs stores, starting from April. 

Having built up ecommerce infrastructure over recent years is one of the achievements that Asda chief executive Roger Burnley singled out as he announced his departure. 

We have a reminder of of how Asda and other online grocers stepped up their deliveries during the pandemicin a piece taken from the recent RetailX UK Top500 report. 

And Nike today shows online growth has helped to compensate for store closures and supply chain delays in the third quarter of its financial year. 

Helping to build out the infrastructure for fast online grocery deliveries is Dija, which this week says it’s expanding beyond London through a Cambridge acquisition

In today’s guest comment Ralph Robinson of BJSS considers challenges thrown up at the UK’s borders by Brexit. 

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