Online grocery services struggle to meet spike in demand


A pandemic forcing everyone to stay home could be the perfect moment for online grocery services. In practice, they’ve been struggling to keep up with a surge in orders, highlighting their limited ability to respond to an unprecedented onslaught of demand. After panic buying left store shelves stripped, many shoppers quickly found online grocery delivery slots almost impossible to come by, too. The problem for many delivery services is ramping up staff to pick goods in shops and deliver. But for Britain’s Ocado, which relies on warehouse robots, significantly increasing deliveries would mean a big investment in new machinery and warehouses that’s too late to catch the demand spike.