Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Ocado strikes 'transformational' deal with U.S. giant Kroger

Ocado strikes 'transformational' deal with U.S. giant Kroger

The alliance will bring to the USA for the first time the unparalleled technology underpinnings of the Ocado Smart Platform, which includes online ordering, automated fulfillment and home delivery capabilities.

Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said working with Kroger to transform the way in which United States customers bought groceries represented "a huge opportunity to redefine the grocery experience" for Kroger customers.

"The company now has an extremely credible partner in the largest grocery market in the world".

The deal should help Kroger compete with Amazon, which has entered the grocery delivery market in a big way.

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Ocado Group PLC, which runs online delivery services and makes related software, said Thursday it's signed a partnership agreement with supermarket chain The Kroger Co.

"The opportunity to partner with Kroger to transform the way in which USA customers buy grocery represents a huge opportunity to redefine the grocery experience of Kroger's customers and create value for the stakeholders of both Kroger and Ocado".

Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado, said the deal means that his company can bring its transformative retail technology to consumers worldwide.

Now, the two companies are working to identify the first three sites for the development of new, automated warehouse facilities and will identify up to 20 sides over the first three years of the agreement.

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Under the terms of the deal, Kroger has discontinued discussions with other retail tech firms, will pay Ocado a monthly consultancy fee and is to acquire a five per cent stake in Ocado.

The retailer's efforts to create a "seamless digital experience" for customers would speed up as a result, he added.

The new relationship is not expected to affect Kroger's earnings per diluted share guidance range for 2018 and 2019 as it is already reflected in the company's "Restock Kroger" plan.

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