How Ocado went from understated British grocer to an $18.4 billion tech giant, as the coronavirus pandemic confirms the future of grocery shopping is online

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"Bots" are seen on the grid (or "The Hive") of Ocado's "smart platform" in Andover, Britain, on May 1, 2018.
“Bots” are seen on the grid (or “The Hive”) of Ocado’s “smart platform” in Andover, Britain, on May 1, 2018.

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

  • As grocery stores worldwide experienced stockpiling, long lines, and health worries amid the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people turned to shopping online.

  • It has been a goldrush for the British company Ocado, an online-only grocery marketplace that also operates technology for supermarket giants worldwide.

  • Ocado was the best performing stock on the FTSE 100 in the second quarter of 2020, and, in May, Ocado raised over $1 billion to grow its services.

  • It is now betting big on its US expansion, hoping to convert Americans to grocery shopping online.

  • Huge challenges remain, though. Many Americans are still reluctant to buy food they can’t see in person, and some fear the current online pandemic-driven boom could prove a one-off.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus pandemic

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Our favorite online photo printing service is having a massive sale

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Print out your most cherished photo memories with Shutterfly.
Print out your most cherished photo memories with Shutterfly.

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Whether it’s cooking healthy meals together or just doing lots of puzzles, family time is likely everything to you right now. And while it’s true that the circumstances surrounding it (ahem, quarantine) are less than stellar, there’s no denying that you’re making precious memories with your loved ones. In fact, the experiences you share now might be some of the most significant of your life, so why not get a few frames for the photos you take to memorialize them?

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For a limited time, you can get up to 40% off everything at Shutterfly, including frames, prints, photo books, and more.

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Americans struggle with unemployment delays

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Corrections and Clarifications: A previous version of this story did not make clear the difference between the number of unemployment assistance claims that had been submitted and the number of people who actually received money in Washington State. 

For Cocoa, Florida, residents Christine Powell and her fiance, Robert Hammond, the relentless downward economic drag of the past six months has been suffocating.

First, Hammond was put on medical leave in December after he broke his hand. Then, as the 49-year-old landscaper was about to return to his job, the pandemic hit. Hammond applied for unemployment insurance, but he hasn’t received a dime, he said, and no one will answer his or Powell’s repeated calls to Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity.

“I felt hopeless,” said Powell, 30, a mother of two who works as a supportive living coach at a behavioral health agency. She, too, suffered a wage cut since the

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University professors fear returning to campus as coronavirus cases surge

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Laura Crary, an art history professor at a liberal arts college in South Carolina, is anxious to return to the classroom, so much so that she was prescribed anti-anxiety medications for the first time in her life.

“I am 62.5 years old, which means I’m four years from full retirement age, or I’d probably retire right now because I’m very nervous,” she said.

While the final fall 2020 plans at her college are still pending, professors at her university were told that conducting solely online classes was not an option. Crary asked that NBC News not name the college.

As coronavirus cases start to surge in more than 30 states across the U.S., some professors are pushing back when it comes to returning to campus for in-person teaching. More than 50% of colleges and universities have announced they will be hosting professors or students back on campus in the next

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L.A. and San Diego school districts to start the year online

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The two largest school districts in California announced Monday that classes will be online-only at the start of the school year, citing “skyrocketing infection rates” of the coronavirus in their areas.

The Los Angeles and San Diego unified school districts, which issued a joint announcement, will begin online instruction in mid-August but will “continue planning for a return to in-person learning during the 2020-21 academic year, as soon as public health conditions allow.”

Los Angeles Unified, the country’s second-largest school district with roughly 700,000 students, will begin instruction Aug. 18; San Diego Unified, which serves more than 100,000 students, is set to start Aug. 31.

“There’s a public health imperative to keep schools from becoming a petri dish,” Austin Beutner, the school superintendent in Los Angeles, said in a video message posted online.

In the joint announcement, the school districts said the research around coronavirus-era school safety remains “incomplete,” and

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How to Get Birth Control Free or at Low Cost

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Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

Many women in the U.S. have gotten used to getting birth control free, thanks to the passage of the Affordable Care Act almost a decade ago, which required most employers to fully cover contraceptive care. But that could soon change for some women who get insurance through their work: Last week, the Supreme Court let stand a Trump administration rule allowing employers to stop covering birth control if they object to it on religious or moral grounds.  

“Now, with impunity, businesses, companies, organizations, and educational institutions have the power to deny coverage for the most private of decisions—family planning,” Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA, a healthcare advocacy organization, said in a statement.

It could be several months before that change takes effect, says Tim Yost, professor emeritus at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. Yost wrote

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360 Finance Announces Changes to Management

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SHANGHAI, China, July 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 360 Finance, Inc. (NASDAQ: QFIN) (“360 Finance” or the “Company”), a leading digital consumer finance platform, today announced the appointment of Mr. Alex Xu as the Chief Financial Officer of the Company in replacement of Mr. Jiang Wu, and the appointment of Mr. Jiang Wu as the Chief Strategy Officer of the Company, effective immediately. Upon taking the new position, Mr. Jiang Wu will focus on assisting the Chief Executive Officer of the Company in making mid to long-term strategic planning and in facilitating the comprehensive cooperation between the Company and its important ecosystem partners such as banks in strategic cooperation relationship with us.

The Company also announced that Mr. Yan Zheng and Mr. Zhiqiang He, current Vice Presidents of the Company, have been promoted as the Chief Risk Officer of the Company and the Senior Vice President of the Company, respectively,

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How to Make Friends in College, According to Experts

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Photo credit: JACOB LUND - Stocksy
Photo credit: JACOB LUND – Stocksy

From Cosmopolitan

Heading off to college can be an intimidating (and exciting!) adventure. Maybe you’re living on your own for the first time in a new city, away from your parents, and learning how to juggle academic work and way too many fun social opportunities—not to mention that growing pile of laundry in your room. Even if school is in the same town where you grew up, starting a new chapter like college is a great time to make new friends. Plus, in my humble opinion, college besties are in a league of their own. They’re your lifelong crew. Nothing bonds you quite like spending 24/7 together, studying and hanging out and never ever getting enough sleep.

But, yeah, of course, making new friends can be nerve-wracking and even a bit awkward, especially if you’re not outgoing by nature. Which is why I tapped

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LA and San Diego school districts will start fall classes online only; California orders statewide closures

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Two of the largest school districts in the U.S., the Los Angeles and San Diego unified school districts, said Monday that their academic years will start with only online instruction, as California continues to fight a surge of COVID-19 cases.  

The districts made the announcement in a joint statement and said their academic calendars will begin as scheduled – Aug. 18 for Los Angeles and Aug. 31 for San Diego. The statement added that both districts will plan to resume in-person learning “as soon as public health conditions allow.”

Also on Monday, Florida reported another alarming number of new coronavirus, as President Donald Trump displayed his frustration with the CDC and the World Health Organization’s director warned that the global pandemic is worsening.

“We need to reach a sustainable situation where we have adequate control of this virus without shutting down our lives entirely,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday, adding

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‘Instead of the holiday buffet, it’s egg and toast at home’

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My Money is a series looking at how people spend their money – and the sometimes tough decisions they have to make. Here Priya Aiyer from Canterbury in Kent takes us through a week in her life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Priya is 29 and works full-time as an architect for a global construction company. When she’s not designing buildings, her interests include drawing cartoon illustrations and enjoying a good exercise session to train towards becoming a fitness instructor. She is also active in campaigning for racial equality and diversity.

She lives with her fiancé Ben and his mother. She and Ben would have been on holiday in Madeira this week, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Over to Priya…

I would have preferred to spend this week on holiday with Ben. Alas, Madeira was cancelled so have decided to have the week off anyway to refresh. We

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