In spring 2000, three young traders gathered to discuss their plan for a new start up. It was to be David versus Goliath. The concept was to create the first pure online-only supermarket, competing against the supermarket giants. They faced formidable obstacles: unlike the competition , they had no food stock or brand name, and none of the founders had retail experience.
After the company was launched in April 2000, many doubted it would succeed. Britain’s most respected food retailer, Tesco CEO Sir Terence Leahy, was openly sceptical.
But the fledgling company did succeed, and has grown to become a giant itself, with revenues of £1.5 bn and a market capitalisation of £6 bn. It is the world’s largest dedicated online-only supermarket, and has been voted ’Best Online Supermarket’ by the readers of Which? magazine every year since 2010.
However major new challenges have emerged, including the recent entry of internet titan Amazon into fresh grocery retailing.
Tim Steiner will discuss the company conception as a start-up, the challenges it has overcome and the challenges it now faces.
The discussion will be followed by Q&A and a drinks reception.
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