Dominos agrees Amazon Echo deal in bid to fight slowing sales
Domino's Pizza has inked an agreement with Amazon Echo that will enable voice ordering for customers as it looks to boost slowing sales growth.
The delivery chain will launch what it called an "industry first" with voice ordering through Amazon's Echo device as of today, as well as introducing GPS tracking for its pizzas.
Chief executive David Wild said: "Domino's Pizza continues to lead the pizza market, with innovations such as the popular Lotta-Chocca pizza and our launch today of Amazon Echo voice ordering.
"Following a successful trial, we'll be rolling out GPS, which will enable customers to track their delivery and help franchisees with labour management."
The firm said the introduction of GPS tracking will provide "significant labour savings" for the franchisee, whilst also enhancing the overall online consumer experience.
However, the group reported first-half sales of £546.5 million which, while a 10.5% increase on last year, represented a slowdown on the 17% growth seen in the same period in 2016.
Like-for-like sales grew 2.4%, a marked decline on last year's 13% growth as the firm flagged a "softer consumer environment and a slowdown in the overall delivery market".
Pre-tax profit rose 9% from £44.6 million, with the firm to shortly open its 1,000th British outlet.
Mr Wild added: "The first half of 2017 has been another period of good progress for Domino's Pizza Group, despite a more uncertain UK economic environment.
"The core business delivered strong year-on-year system sales, continuing to take pizza market share, with good like-for-like performance.
"We've had a record six months in the UK, opening 40 new stores and have consequently raised our expectations from 80 to 90 this year.
"I'm delighted we'll shortly be opening our 1,000th British unit and we are well on track to achieve our goal of 1,600."
Shares in Domino's were down nearly 7% in morning trading as investors digested the news.
Wayne Brown, analyst at Liberum, said: "The half-year results are relatively as we had expected, with a declining like-for-like sales profile impacting underlying margins.
"Order count growth has lagged store opening growth and mature like-for-like sales has fallen behind a rise in average ticket growth, suggesting that volumes in mature stores are running at around minus 3%."