Ocado founders are “grinning from ear to ear” having hit 100,000 orders last week – a milestone they say is “proof” their business model is succeeding.

Director and co-founder Jason Gissing described it as a “fantastic” achievement.

“We’ve reached a milestone that proves our pioneering business model is working,” he said. “Everyone that reads your magazine thought we were going to blow up and die but we’re doing the opposite.”

In Ocado’s first week of trading in January 2002, just 172 deliveries were made. Gissing revealed that its product range had increased by 30% last year to more than 20,000 products, and that average basket spend had risen from £112 in 2007 to just under £116 in 2009.

Gissing added that successful rollouts such as Ocado’s Service Counter - its in-house butcher and fishmonger service - and ‘On The Go’ iPhone app had helped engage online shoppers and consolidate sales performance. Ocado launched on to Google’s popular mobile operating platform Android last month.

Ocado’s performance had been particularly strong further north, with year-on-year order growth for its Leeds and Manchester hubs up 94% and 42% respectively.

“In the past 12 months we’ve secured a greater footing in the north, challenging the false perception that Ocado is an M25-only phenomenon” said Jon Rudoe, Head of Retail.

Ocado now had the ability to accelerate growth through its central Hatfield-based distribution centre - “with an expected final state capacity of 180,000 orders per week” – and a growing, dedicated team said Jon Hillary, Head of Technology and Engineering.
Staff numbers had increased by 700 to a total of 4,200 last year to meet the growing demand, a recruitment trend Ocado confirmed would continue this year.
Gissing said the company was now “set-up” for the future. He declined to comment on the prospect of a flotation.