The online grocery market in the UK is one of the largest in the world. It has many players, but two of the most dynamic are Tesco and Ocado. These two companies have taken markedly different approaches to executing and fulfilling online grocery orders from customers. Tesco has an extensive network of stores and primarily uses these stores as picking locations to prepare and ship customer orders. Ocado has no retail stores, and uses highly automated distribution centers to prepare and ship customer orders. This case describes the UK online grocery market and the two companies; it invites students to consider the differences in the approaches, in which ways they offer advantages to the company and to customers, and ultimately which one is better suited to the UK online grocery market.
The objective of this case to develop an appreciation and understanding of the different benefits, costs and constraints of supply chain distribution models. By contrasting two companies that have very different supply chain approaches to competing in the same market, the case leads students to make connections between a company’s supply chain strategy and its customer value proposition.
Ocado, Tesco, eCommerce
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