Ocado has partnered with Groupe Casino for a new joint venture in a bid to expand its offering across France.
The group revealed it had signed a preliminary agreement to extend its existing partnership with Groupe Casino, the parent company of French supermarket giant Casino, launching a tie-up that will see them offer logistics services for retailer warehouses.
This will include project management for warehouse construction and set-up, as well as the recruitment and operations management of staff at the sites. The deal will also allow Ocado to offer its software to retailers across France for the first time as it taps into the surge in online shopping across the country.
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“The online grocery channel in France has reached an inflection point, with a huge rise in demand for compelling, affordable and efficient grocery e-commerce propositions,” Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said.
“This announcement marks a deepening of the relationship between Groupe Casino and Ocado Group, and it will further support the capital light expansion of our partnership into other French regions.
“For the first time, it will also open up the whole of the French grocery market to Ocado’s solutions.”
The group also announced a move to bring on board French online retailer Cdiscount’s Octopia marketplace platform into its own Ocado Smart Platform, which will offer new “flexibility and functionality to its global partners”, it revealed.
Despite Ocado stating there will not be any capital costs of the joint venture with Casino, it will also start to roll out Ocado’s in-store fulfilment software across its Monoprix store estate.
Groupe Casino boss Jean-Charles Naouri added: “After having experienced the success of the Ocado solution with Monoprix Plus, Casino Plus and Naturalia Marche Bio, the French consumers will be able to benefit from new, even more efficient e-commerce services, making their daily needs even easier.”
The move comes as Ocado recently reported a pre-tax loss despite a growth in sales, due to large investments in technology and new distribution centre openings.
In the 12 months to 28 November, the online grocer’s EBITDA widened from £52.3 million to £176.9 million.