Ocado strikes US deal to roll out online shopping tech

American retail giant Kroger to exclusively use Ocado Smart Platform services

Ocado has signed an exclusive deal with American retailer Kroger to roll out its automated warehouse technology across the US.

In the deal, Kroger will be able to offer its customers Ocado Smart Platform's online ordering technology, automated fulfillment, and home delivery capabilities, enhancing the US retailer's digital and robotic operations which its said will provide every family in America with the convenience of shopping 'anywhere' and 'anytime'.

Both companies have already begun to identify sites for automated warehouse facilities to be developed in 2018, with a long-term target of 20 within the first three years of the agreement.

The deal is part of Kroger's 'Restock' initiative that aims to redefine the food and grocery customer experience in America by improving it tech capabilities and will include Ocado's machine learning fraud detection system

"We see Ocado as an innovative, exciting and transformative partnership in pursuit if our Restock Kroger vision, to serve America through food inspiration and uplift," said Kroger's chairman and CEO, Rodney Mullen.

"We are actively creating a seamless digital experience for our customers. Our partnership with Ocado will speed up our efforts to redefine the food and grocery customer experience."

Ocado is the world's largest online retailer with three automated warehouses in operation and a fourth facility currently being built.

It uses robots, automated conveyor belts, shuttles and cranes to pick up and carry food items at high-speed to trucks outside for home delivery.

Everything is controlled by an artificially intelligent system that continuously collects data to monitor efficiency and stock levels.

"This partnership with Kroger will transform the way in which US customers buy groceries and will represent a huge opportunity to redefine the grocery experience of Kroger's customers and create value for the stakeholders of both Kroger and Ocado," said Tim Steiner CEO of Ocado Group.

"As we work through the terms of the service agreement with Kroger in the coming months, we will be preparing the business for a transformative relationship which will reshape the food retailing industry in the US in the years to come."

Picture: Ocado Press Office

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