AO World plc (formerly Appliances Online) is an online retailer specialising in household appliances. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
The company was established as Appliances Online by John Roberts (the current CEO) in 2000. John was bet £1 that he could not set up his own company by a close friend, whether the winnings were collected is still unknown. It also sold kitchen appliances on behalf of Boots, Next, House of Fraser, B&Q and Iceland. In 2009 the company acquired the distribution business Expert Logistics enabling self-delivery of goods.
In 2011 the company invested £750,000 into a video studio to produce video reviews for its Appliances Online and Appliance Reviews websites. The studio, located in Bolton, had kitchen sets, equipment and production and editing suites.
In 2011, the company signed for an initial 15,000 sq ft at Bruntwood's Riverside building in Manchester, employing 100 people, with plans to increase the number of employees at Riverside to more than 300 by the end of March.
In 2013 the company re-branded as ao.com In October 2013 the company began selling small appliances and launched a same day delivery service.
In 2013 the company's Facebook page reached the milestone of over 1 million fans and won a PayPal Retail award in recognition of its work on this platform.
In February 2014 the company floated on the London Stock Exchange as AO World.
The company now occupies 50,000sq ft offices and is based in Bolton.
The company was named as 63rd in the Sunday Times 'Best Companies to Work For' list in 2011, and received the award for Best Customer Service Operation at the 2011 European Call Centre & Customer Service Awards. In 2012, the company was named 5th in the Sunday Times' list, and in 2013 climbed to 4th, retaining this position in 2014.
The company launched a new advertising campaign on 3 May 2013 to mark the rebrand of the business from Appliances Online to ao.com. The first advert follows a fictional new employee called ‘Dave’ and his over-enthusiastic inductor on his first day at work. A further advert was aired showing ‘Barry Catchpole’.
Its adverts feature a version of the Ramones song "Blitzkrieg Bop" in which the words "Hey! Ho! Let's go!" are reinterpreted as "A.O. Let's go!".