U.K. based online grocery automation technology and service provider Ocado has struck yet another deal, this time being a partnership with Australia based supermarket chain Coles.
This deal reportedly calls for Coles to invest up to $107 million to build two automated food distribution warehouses for the supermarket chain. The warehouses, targeted for supporting the Sydney and Melbourne regions, will be built and maintained by Ocado and are expected to be deployed by the end of 2023. To support less densely populated areas of the country, Coles is expected to adopt Ocado’s store level pick and pack processes, which are currently in use by Wm Morrison chain in the United Kingdom.
This deal comes after the announced partnership with U.S. supermarket retailer Kroger which called for both a $247 million equity investment, equating to a 6 percent equity stake, and the eventual deployment of a total of 20 online customer fulfillment automation warehouses over the next three years. Other deals with supermarket retailers include Sweden based ICA, Sobeys in Canada and Casino in France.
Last month, the technology provider announced a joint-venture agreement with UK retailer Marks and Spencer with that retail chain agreeing to pay £750 million to secure a 50 percent stake in Ocado’s own branded retail business. That deal was reported as providing added cash for Ocado to fund these various ongoing technology partnerships.
According to a report from Bloomberg. Coles expects that this deal will double its home delivery capabilities across Australia and improve profit margins for its growing online business segment. Coles’s online business reportedly has currently reached upwards of $700 million.
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