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News “The sales momentum continued from Q1


Boss says ‘we’ve seen a lasting step change in online penetration’


AO has said it is expecting its half year profit to rise by 57 per cent thanks to strong demand in UK and Germany. In a market trading update, the retail giant said


that UK revenue rose 54 per cent in the six months to 30 September.


throughout Q2 despite the reopening of competitor bricks and mortar stores,” the report stated, pointing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the shift of consumers heading online during lockdown. The company added: “We believe we have seen a lasting step change in online penetration.” AO Founder and Group Chief Executive, John Roberts, commented: “The last six months of trading have been like no other during my two decades in the business. AO was in good shape coming into this financial year and the global, structural shift in customer behaviour to online, accelerated by COVID, emphasised our strengths. “Whilst we remain mindful of the uncertain economic climate caused by the pandemic and Brexit, we are on


October 2020 ertonline.co.uk


AO sees substantial UK revenue growth


track with plans and well set for our biggest ever peak trading period in the UK and Germany.” This news came after AO announced it is opening


its third warehouse in four months – the largest so far, adding over 275,000sq ft of distribution space in Stoke-on-Trent.. In recent months, the company has acquired over


half a million square feet of new warehousing space across Cheshire and Staffordshire; this new site will be used primarily for distribution to AO’s 18 ‘local hub’ depots across the country. There are also plans for a delivery depot too. MD of AO Logistics, David Ashwell, said:


“Expanding our logistics network is a crucial step in our growth strategy. We’ve really had to act quickly to adapt to an influx in customers following the COVID-19 lockdown.”


Whirlpool to support the industry as energy labelling changes come in


Introduced by the European Commission, the new Energy Labelling Framework Regulation, set to be introduced from March 2021, sees a less confusing, uniform energy consumption scale from A to G. This will replace the current scaling (A+++, A++ and A+). The new scale will still use the current seven-step colour grading. The transition to the new labels will take place in


a couple of stages. The first appliances from March 2021 are dishwashers, washing machines, washer- dryers and refrigerators, as well as wine storage appliances and freezers. From the second half of next year, there will be a transition period when appliance manufacturers will


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need to include both the new label and the old label in the product packaging for any product placed on sale before the deadline of the 1 March 2021. After this date, any new products in the


aforementioned appliance categories brought to market will be sold only with the new label. “We are excited to welcome the new energy


labelling framework as a bold opportunity towards greater sustainability,” said Andrzej Tuleja, GM, UK and Ireland, Whirlpool UK. “We are committed to help consumers on this journey – through products that make it easier to reduce their household resource consumption in the home. By building on more rigorous measurement methods, the new


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energy label supports this by better representing the best performing appliances of today – and by setting ambitious targets for those of tomorrow, too.”


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