Mar 1, 2019
I admit it: I was wrong about Ocado
Still, when Ocado announced its initial public offering in 2010, professional gloominess prevailed. The chief executive now likes to boast of how Ocado algorithms work out not only where and when your punnet of raspberries was crushed, but who keeps crushing them. Research is under way to reduce human input, and possibly eliminate humans altogether, for the moment when time-poor shoppers want to welcome driverless Ocado vans to their streets. In 2010, I wrote that Ocado's IPO price made sense only if it could expand capacity, build new distribution centres and develop overseas. Ocado's emphasis on reinvesting for the long term also lays it open to charges it is a jam-tomorrow company - like some tech groups.
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