Anne Bruce
Waitrose online joint venture Ocado is to start a £2m poster, press and TV campaign in London this week to build its brand across the M25 region before launching in other UK cities.
Joint md Nigel Robertson said: "This announces our arrival on the London stage. We now cover 1.8 million households in the top half of the M25 circle and will be rolling out to the other half, areas including Richmond, Croydon and Bromley, before Christmas."
All orders for the region will be serviced from Ocado's purpose-built distribution centre in Hatfield, due to be fully operational in October.
Waitrose md Steven Esom said this week that the £60m spent by the John Lewis Partnership on Ocado was justified. He said the money was the same as opening three stores in London. Ocado could reach many more new customers without cannibalising sales.
Ocado plans to open a second depot by the end of 2003, and is assessing demographics in other UK conurbations, including Manchester and Birmingham. Robertson said: "We are now examining other cities. We could go west, we've a few irons in the fire."
Ocado's campaign asks customers When did you stop being so demanding?', to underline the ease of shopping online with Ocado compared to shopping in the supermarket.
Each execution underlines an Ocado customer promise ­ one-hour delivery slots, £50 off the first five shops over £75 (£10 off each shop), free delivery for orders of £75 or more and a very low substitution rate.

{{NEWS }}