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Ocado announces technology partnership with Swedish grocer ICA

Ocado has announced it will support Swedish grocer ICA Group’s eCommerce business by providing its Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) technology. 

With around 1,300 stores – including a network of independent operations – across Sweden and a market share of around 36%, ICA generated sales of SEK 106.5 billion (£8.8 billion) in 2017 but the organisation is looking to evolve and grow its online offering.

The partnership with Ocado will see the UK company deliver front-end website functionality, including mobile applications, as well as construct an automated warehouse designed specifically for grocery eCommerce. Ocado will implement the internal infrastructure and robotic capability at the Stockholm site.

Part of the deal will involve Ocado providing routing management technology, which the online grocer says is designed to optimise delivery efficiency, customer service excellence and punctuality. The platform is expected to be implemented by the end of 2020.

The partnership follows Ocado securing OSP deals with Morrisons in the UK, Groupe Casino in France and Sobeys in Canada.

Terms of the deal will see ICA pay Ocado certain upfront fees upon signing and during the development phase, while ongoing fees will be owed associated to sales achieved and capacity provided in the customer fulfilment centre.

Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions, an arm of the Ocado Group which also includes its own-run grocery business, commented: "We are excited and proud to be partnering with another of Europe's leading grocery retailers.

“ICA has a strong track record of growth and innovation and our smart platform will give the ICA retailers the opportunity to provide their customers with new levels of service, convenience and value. Our flexible, scalable and modular solution is uniquely positioned to address a fresh set of challenges and allow ICA deliver its ambitions for online."

Per Strömberg, CEO of ICA Group, added: "We are now laying the foundation for the next generation eCommerce offering, and we are putting an important piece of the puzzle in place to realise our digital ambitions for all of ICA Group.

“Today we have the industry's most efficient processes for physical shopping, and through this agreement we can create the most efficient solutions also for eCommerce."

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