Retail

Blue Apron Sees Higher Demand Because Of The Coronavirus

Amid reaccelerated marketing efforts, Blue Apron saw net revenue rise 8 percent and customers increase 7 percent sequentially from Q4 2019. The meal kit company reported that it has experienced a sizable rise in demand with different stay-at-home orders, restaurant restriction orders and other limitations “subsequent to the first quarter,” according to an announcement.

Chief Executive Officer Linda Findley Kozlowski said in the announcement, “As planned, we have started to deliver on the first stage of our growth strategy with sequential quarter-over-quarter growth in both net revenue and customers, along with continued strength in certain other key customer metrics, which we saw even prior to the impact of COVID-19.”

Kozlowski continued, “As we move into the second quarter of 2020, we are focused on driving customer retention and establishing longer-term consumer habits out of the heightened demand we have been seeing as a result of the impact of COVID-19, including stay-at-home and restaurant restriction orders and other changes.”

The company reported that it is putting measures into place to bolster capacity at fulfillment centers to meet higher demand, with the inclusion of decreasing variety in menu choices for a time and bringing new staffers on board. It also noted it has put into place safety measures such as “enhanced daily cleaning and disinfection policies.”

Blue Apron reported improved key customer metrics with the inclusion of orders per customer and average revenue per customer per the announcement, and the meal kit company said it delivered net loss and adjusted EBITDA for Q1 that was in line with the guidance range provided in the past.

Blue Apron saw potential in the meal kit industry as it pursued a turnaround and considered “strategic alternatives” per news in February. At the time, Kozlowski noted that “as one of the larger players in this space, we do still see significant opportunity for upside particularly tracking against growth in online grocery spend and other areas.”

The executive, however, acknowledged that coming to a point of efficiency, in addition to moving marketing forward, was one of the industry’s largest challenges and opportunities.

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