Ocado entering U.S. market through technology deal with Kroger

Ocado entering U.S. market through technology deal with Kroger

Kroger Co.is investing in a British online grocer as the U.S.'s largest supermarket chain seeks to compete with Amazon.com Inc.'s expanding food-retail operation and Walmart Inc.'s digital deals.

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.

Online supermarket chain Ocado has signed a deal with U.S. supermarket chain Kroger.

Kroger has agreed to raise its stake in Ocado Group PLC, bringing its total investment in the United Kingdom company to more than 6%, and license technology to run automated warehouses and make online deliveries to customers.

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The two groups are identifying the first three of 20 new sites for automated warehouses using Ocado's product-sorting and distribution technology, which allows retailers to speed up their online-delivery businesses. Ocado added that, in the event of a failure to commit to the target capacity, Kroger will pay compensation to Ocado. "As we work through the terms of the services 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 U.S. in the years to come".

Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chief executive, said the partnership would the grocer "redefine the food and grocery customer experience - creating value for customers and shareholders alike".

Earlier this month, it inked a deal to build Swedish supermarket ICA's online grocery business and it also has finalised deals with Canadian grocery Sobey's and french supermarket company Groupe Casino.

'A significant milestone in this strategy was marked in November a year ago when the company announced its first overseas deal with France's Groupe Casino supermarket brand - providing the company with the necessary kit and technology to launch its own online offering.

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