Ocado unveils new measures as it apologises for inability to meet demand

Ocado has issued an apology to its customers for being unable to meet the current demand for its deliveries which it said is 10 times higher than usual. 

As a result it has also released a series of new measures including prioritising government shield list members and stopping orders from new customers.

The apology was issued in a blog post attributed to the online grocer’s chief executive Mel Smith who said: “we know that many of you are not getting as much access to our deliveries as you would like. 

I also know from your feedback that we haven’t done a good enough job yet of explaining to our customers what we are doing. We are sorry, and we know how frustrating it must be to not be able to rely on our normal service. Trust us, it isn’t because we don’t want to be delivering more.”

She revealed that since the pandemic started the retailer has seen web traffic up to 100 times higher and enquiries into its contact centre up 500%.

Smith added that “practically” every one of its nearly 800,000 active customers had placed an order at least once a week and that, at the same time, the average size of orders “has grown more than 50%” meaning fewer orders can be picked and transported. 

She concluded that it is a level of demand “several times” its current capacity.

As such Ocado revealed it is making changes to its delivery including the following:

  • Prioritising some customers. It will prioritise deliveries for some of its customers, particularly those extremely vulnerable customers on the government’s shield list,and its longest-standing, most loyal customers 
  • Government shield list. It will give priority access to our customers who are on the government’s shield list of extremely vulnerable people. If you’re a customer living in England and you (or somebody in your household) are extremely vulnerable, please visit to register onto the government’s list. 
  • Smart Pass refunds  Pass customers that did not receive an order in March, will be refunded or a donation to our food bank charity partners. 
  • Ocado Reserved. It has temporarily suspended Ocado Reserved. 
  • Unable to serve new customers. Ocado will be unable to serve any new customers 

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