Upscale Internet grocer Ocado serves more than 13.5 million tech-savvy, time-pressed households in Greater London, Hertfordshire, Kent, the Midlands, Surrey, North West, and now the South Coast.
Launched by three former Goldman Sachs bankers in 2002, Ocado delivers groceries in Mercedes vans from its supermarket partner John Lewis Partnership-owned Waitrose Limited, which owns about 30% of the company, to the customer's doorstep. Other Ocado investors include the company's directors, who control 25% of the company.
The average Ocado order tops about £100, a relatively high price, but the company's ability to turn a profit is still erratic. The Internet grocer has postponed delivery of a planned IPO.