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Ocado automated warehousing deal for French supermarket

29 November 2017

The Ocado Group has signed an agreement with Groupe Casino to develop the Ocado Smart Platform in France.

Ocado is the world's leading dedicated online grocery retailer with a strong technological advantage. The scalable, modular end-to-end solution provided by the OSP is an answer to the opportunities and challenges posed by shifting offline/online trends in grocery.

This highly innovative and effective commercial formula will be achieved through access to Ocado's end-to-end solution, including the construction of its latest generation automated warehouse (for which Ocado will invest to install its grid and its robots), Ocado's best-in-class front-end web site functionality, last-mile routing management and big data, real time implementation.

Transport Intelligence analyst Thomas Cullen said: “The e-retailing sector in France is reasonably well developed, however it tends to use specifically French solutions. The French post office, La Poste, has some advanced technology but it is used in a different way to most other markets with last-mile services having a relatively low penetration, as opposed to ‘click & collect’. Expanding into this market is a significant advance for Ocado. It sees the sale of its e-retail logistics technology as core to its business, yet up until today had no customers outside of the UK.”

Customer Fulfilment Centre

Groupe Casino's banners will benefit from this innovative grocery e-commerce platform, firstly Monoprix.fr.

The agreement sets out plans for the immediate initiation of the development of a Customer Fulfilment Centre using Ocado's proprietary mechanical handling equipment to serve the Greater Paris area, the Normandie and Hauts de France Regions. The build and launch is expected to take at least two years.

In consideration of the investments made by Ocado, of maintenance and of provision of technology, Groupe Casino will pay Ocado certain upfront fees upon signing, and during the development phase, then ongoing fees linked to its utilisation of capacity within the CFC and service criteria.

In addition to the initial CFC, Groupe Casino and Ocado will consider further development of other CFCs close to other large urban areas.

Jean-Charles Naouri, CEO of Groupe Casino, said: “Groupe Casino is pleased to announce the agreement with Ocado Group which will allow it to develop an integrated customer and logistics platform, considered the best in the market. This agreement is a major leap in terms of quality: 50,000 food items will be offered in the first stage to customers in the Greater Paris area with precise and speedy delivery at home and through a platform which makes it achievable to do this profitably.”