Case Study

Ocado: A successful online grocery business model?

17 pages
March 2010
Reference: IMD-6-0322

In 2009 several companies were competing in the UK for a share of the fast-growing online grocery market, using two different business approaches. Ocado, a purely online grocer operated out of a dedicated distribution center. The company was founded by three former investment bankers in early 2000. By 2009 Ocado had grown from its original three founders to over 3,000 employees and was just about to become profitable. It faced competition from Tesco.com, the biggest online grocer in the world. Tesco, the UK’s leading supermarket chain, had started an internet add-on to its regular business and used existing supermarkets to run its online operations.

Learning Objective

This case compares Ocado and Tesco.com business models from a consumer proposition, operational efficiency, profitability and sustainability point of view. Participants will be challenged to think about the challenges online grocers face to meet shoppers’ expectations, how operational choices impact the consumer proposition and what opportunities both companies have to further grow their business.

Keywords
Online Grocery Store, Online Grocery Retailing, eCommerce, eBusiness, Supply Chain, Production Management, Operations Management
Settings
2009
Type
Published Sources
Copyright
© 2010
Available Languages
English
Related material
Teaching note
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]

Contact

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Looking for something specific?
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics