Electrical retailer AO World has seen continued and growing online sales across Europe despite stores reopening, however it warns that continuing uncertainty around the pandemic and Brexit were still cause for concern.
The retailer posted sales in the four months to July up 58.9% in the UK to £401.3 million, with sales in Germany growing by 91.5% to €74.3 million.
In a statement, the online retailer said: “Operationally, our business continues to support our customers at a time when social distancing and continued changes to official Covid-19 guidance become the new normal”.
The company, led by John Roberts, also says that demand for its products and services has been sustained even as competitor stores have reopen from 15 July
It states: “This reaffirms our belief that this is a structural shift in demand where customers have found a better way to shop the electricals category. We are investing in our capacity and capability to serve customers ever more in the AO way.”
To help meet this demand, AO has already announced earlier this month that it is recruiting for 250 new members of staff at its logistics hub in Crewe as it adapts to these growing levels of online demand. In the last three months it has added more than 225,000 sq ft of warehouse space and another warehouse with a further 115,000 sq ft of space is due to open in Stafford in August.
The company did, however, sound a note of caution, warning that the as yet unknown impact of coronavirus in the winter months coupled with Brexit could produce some headwinds.
“We remain cognisant of the significant level of economic and customer uncertainty driven by both Covid-19 and the prospect of Brexit in December and the impact this may have on demand for electricals in the medium-term,” the company says.