Does Sobeys deal mean the U.S. is next for Ocado?
Ocado has its sights set on the world. The British e-grocer announced its second deal in less than two months outside the U.K. to build and operate an automated warehouse for a traditional supermarket chain.
Canada’s Sobeys announced earlier this week that Ocado will build an automated warehouse and develop a website and mobile service to expand the national grocery chain’s online sales. The two companies plan to assess the value of adding more warehouses in other parts of Canada. Sobeys operates more than 1,500 stores across the country.
“Sobeys intends to play to win in Canadian online grocery shopping. We are very excited to bring this best-in-the-world grocery e-commerce experience to Canadian customers,” said Michael Medline, president & CEO of Sobeys, in a statement. “This unique and innovative Sobeys and Ocado experience will offer consumers the biggest selection, freshest products and most reliable delivery available anywhere on the planet. Our end-to-end e-commerce solution will allow Sobeys to build an online offer in a manner that is profitable and creates exceptional value for our customers, investors and supplier partners.”
The deal with Sobeys marks the third relationship with a major traditional grocery chain for Ocado. It also has a deal in place with Morrisons in the U.K., and in November Ocado announced plans to build a warehouse for Groupe Casino in France.
Having made its way to North America, many wonder when a deal will be announced between Ocado and a grocer in the U.S. In July, according to Bloomberg, Ocado began talks with unnamed American grocers about licensing its platform. The talks were spurred by Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods.
- Sobeys Inc. and Ocado Group plc are partnering to bring the world’s most innovative online grocery platform to Canada – Sobeys Inc.
- Ocado seals new international tie-up with Sobeys in Canada – Reuters
- Ocado unveils second robotic warehouse deal – Financial Times
- Will Ocado’s robots help U.S. grocers solve their online delivery problems? – RetailWire
- Ocado Holds Talks With Several U.S. Grocers After Amazon Deal – Bloomberg
- Morrisons to roll out home deliveries nationwide after Ocado contract wrangling – The Telegraph
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Would the Ocado platform work for supermarket chains in the U.S.? Do you see any likely candidates that you think would benefit from a deal with Ocado?