In just a few months, the British online player Ocado has already signed strategic agreements with three big global food-distribution companies. This confirms its intention to become a logistics services company and supplier of robotic warehouse technology. The first agreement was with the Canadian chain Sobeys, to develop the online business in Ontario and create, within two years, a fully automated warehouse that can prepare orders consisting of 50 products in just six minutes. Then it was the turn of French retailer Groupe Casino, and shortly after the latest partnership just signed with the Swedish supermarkets chain Ica. The Scandinavian player closed 2017 with a turnover of approximately 10.1 billion euros, and it owns 1,300 points of sale representing over a third of market share in Sweden.
The agreement between Ocado and Ica
Ocado will build the Customer Fulfillment Centre in Stockholm, a top level warehouse for innovation, efficiency, and sustainability, able to eliminate waste almost completely. By 2022, Ica should invest a sum close to 56 million euros. However, the creation of other logistics centres cannot be ruled out.
A favourable context
Thanks also to new international cooperations, the shares of Ocado grew by 40% since the beginning of the year. In addition, even the mega merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda could benefit the British player. The new scenario could in fact encourage some players – the most exposed to the price offensive, such as Marks & Spencer and Co-op – to team up with the online supermarket and use its logistics solutions.
New partnerships in sight
Moreover, according to stock analysts Ocado should make many other agreements to justify such a high price of its stock. In the coming months, new announcements in this direction would not come as a surprise, increasingly attributing to Ocado an ‘anti-Amazon ally’ role on the road to e-commerce.