Ocado crowned UK contact centre of the year

A NORTH EAST contact centre has beaten off stiff competition to be named the best in the UK.

Ocado Retail, the world’s largest online grocer, was this week crowned ‘Contact Centre of the Year’ at the UK National Contact Centre Awards.

Taking place at Old Billingsgate in the City of London on Monday 20 June, the annual awards recognise ‘exceptional and inspirational individuals and teams across the contact centre industry’.

Finalists included some of the biggest names in industry, from McDonad’s to Vodafone, ASOS and Sky, however the overall winner on the night was the Sunderland-based contact centre of Ocado Retail, which relocated to the city in 2020.

The move saw the company invest in two floors at The Beam at Riverside Sunderland, with ‘access to the city’s skilled workforce and established contact centre industry’ being the key motivator behind the move.

Fast forward two years and the ecommerce giant, which is partly owned by Marks & Spencer, now employs over 400 people at its city centre base, with staff enjoying a range of benefits such as flexible working, employee rewards and private medical insurance.

Kelly Swinney, general manager of customer operations at Ocado Retail, represented the company at the ceremony and received the award alongside Paul Greenwood, head of the Ocado Retail customer hub.

Speaking about the award win, Paul said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the entire team at Ocado Retail’s Contact Centre here in Sunderland – being crowned the Contact Centre of the Year is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of each and every colleague. We’re a growing team of over 400 and are always on the lookout for new talent.” 

Ocado Retail’s move to Sunderland was supported by the business investment team at Sunderland City Council who are leading on the promotion of the Riverside Sunderland development.

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland has long been recognised as a centre for excellence for the contact centre industry and Ocado Retail is yet another fantastic success story for the sector.

“To have companies such as Ocado Retail flying the flag for the city on a national stage is fantastic and their success is testament to the brilliant work their staff have put in since opening their new base two years ago. On behalf of everyone at Sunderland City Council, I’d like to say a huge congratulations to everyone involved in their magnificent success.”

For more information on Sunderland as a place to do business, visit: https://www.mysunderland.co.uk/business-and-investment or follow @InvestSundUK on Twitter.