Ocado to launch non-food sites in 'hypermarket' drive

Fetch: online pet store from Ocado
Fetch: online pet store from Ocado

Ocado, the online grocery business, will launch the first of a series of standalone specialist websites next month as part of a strategy to expand "from a supermarket to a hypermarket".

According to reports, James Matthews, Ocado non-food director, said the firm would launch a transactional pet website – branded Fetch – next month, with the strapline, "the pet store from Ocado".

Matthews said: "Online pet retail is growing quickly and our range will rival that of a specialist independent or veterinary surgery. We are moving from serving people for their food shop, to be a flagship for a product category."

The ecommerce business has hired qualified staff to provide veterinary information online to Fetch customers and has started internal testing of the site, which will extend the existing range of pet food, toys and accessories sold on Ocado.

Ocado plans to follow Fetch with individual sites dedicated to baby, health and beauty, toys, homewares, kitchen and home, and garden sites, putting it in competition with the likes of Mothercare and Boots, as well as online retail giant Amazon.

Its strategy for each site will be to increase the number of non-food products sold on Ocado.com, before becoming a specialist in each category via the launch of the standalone websites, dubbed "destination stores".

Customers will be able to choose whether to have their Fetch goods delivered separately or with their online grocery order from the main Ocado site.


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