A momentary triumph for Tim’s vans

Elizabeth Fournier
SO a glimmer of light for Ocado. We’ve long taken a sceptical view on the delivery firm, but its festive trading figures might just win it some breathing space, among all the other doom and gloom.

Ocado -- run by ex-Goldman banker Tim Steiner -- lucked out by making two savvy decisions this winter. First, it stopped work on the much-criticised new customer fulfilment centre (warehouse) in Hatfield. The break meant it could focus on its day job – helping sales rise 24 per cent leading up to Christmas.

Second, it prepared for snow. After last year’s disastrous conditions Ocado went into contingency planning mode and held back delivery slots in case the going got tough. When it didn’t, they freed up for extra capacity – making the comparatives look great.

But don’t think we’re going soft just yet. Ocado is yet to present a convincing plan for growth, and a few empty pallets plus mild weather do not an investment case make.