AO creates 250 jobs in Crewe to cope with online demand

Image source, AO
Image caption,
AO, which sells appliances such as fridges and ovens, plans to open its new 115,000 sq ft warehouse in Stafford later this month

Online electricals retailer AO is to create 250 jobs at its logistics hub in Crewe and open a new warehouse in Stafford.

The recruitment drive is to "manage the sustained demand" during the coronavirus pandemic as customers move to buy products online.

AO saw UK sales of its core goods rise by almost 20% in the final quarter of 2019-20, covering lockdown.

The warehouse will open on Stafford's Redhill Business park this month.

Managing Director David Ashwell said AO was "investing in the future".

He said the firm was also introducing an incentive scheme that would boost workers' salaries based on the business's success over the next five years.

In its full-year results published last month, founder and CEO John Roberts said Covid-19 had accelerated a shift in customer behaviour towards online shopping.

He said many customers during lockdown had come to the firm for the first time and despite a "huge amount of uncertainty" AO had an opportunity to "drive forward so those customers never look back".

Research by KPMG earlier in the pandemic estimated online retailing could reach 50% of the total goods we buy by 2025 and that lockdown had "turbo-charged" the move away from physical stores.

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