Urban logistics: Will Ocado eco backlash kibosh city deliveries?

Ocado van

As Ocado finds itself embroiled in a battle with north London parents over its new urban delivery centre, Retail Week looks into the growing trend for city centre logistics.

Ocado boss Tim Steiner has found himself in hot water and, for a change, it’s not over his sizeable pay packet.

As the retailer looks to expand its one-hour delivery service Zoom around London, it has come into conflict with the parents of children at Yerbury Primary School in Islington.

These parents – who are coincidentally among Ocado’s target market – have taken umbrage with the online retailer’s plans to open a delivery and refuelling depot next door to the school, which culminated in four of Ocado’s execs spending a night in the school’s hall being grilled by a community concerned over diesel pollution, noise and a lack of transparency.

While this irate parent governors’ meeting may seem insignificant, it highlights what is likely to become a growing issue for retail.

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