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Ocado was launched in 2000 by founders Tim Steiner, Jason Gissing and Jonathan Faiman in partnership with Waitrose. Operating from a 23-acre automated warehouse site in Hertfordshire, it sells Waitrose food and delivers to an area it says covers 65% of British households. It pioneers a range of customer-friendly initiatives such as free delivery, one-hour delivery slots, “use-by” date visibility, “green” delivery slots and real-time inventory to minimise substitutions. The company grew sales by 25% from the previous year to £272.9m in 2007.

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Company details
ActivityOnline grocery retailer
Sales £m272.9
Operating profit £m-31.4
Main shareholders

Other investors (50%), John Lewis Partnership (25%), management (25%)


If applicable:

* supplied by company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda