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Supply Chain

Ocado Launches First Robotic Warehouse In Asia With Aeon

By Reuters
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Ocado Launches First Robotic Warehouse In Asia With Aeon

British online supermarket and technology group Ocado said its first robotic warehouse in Asia, built for Japanese partner Aeon, has gone live.

The warehouse, or customer fulfilment centre (CFC) as Ocado calls them, has begun taking orders from customers across the Kanto region for Aeon's 'Green Beans' brand.

It will offer around 50,000 SKUs as well as Smart Cart function and one-hour delivery slots to customers, the company said in a statement.

Ocado signed up Aeon as a partner in 2019 in a deal that anticipated the Japanese group would have an online grocery sales capacity of about 600 billion yen (€3.84 billion) by 2030 and 1 trillion yen by 2035.

Ocado said Aeon's second CFC in Japan will be based in Hachioji, Tokyo, with more to follow.

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The move will allow Aeon to cater to a wide range of customer shopping missions flexibly as the Japanese grocery e-commerce market continues to develop.

'Fastest Growing Channel In Grocery'

“Grocery spend in Asia is set to outstrip every other region of the globe over the next decade, and online remains the fastest growing channel in grocery across APAC," Ocado CEO Tim Steiner said.

"As the market develops, the e-commerce networks Ocado is building with partners in Asia will generate a step-change in the quality of service that customers can expect online."

Akio Yoshida, president of Aeon, added, "The effort is a cornerstone of Aeon’s continued digital shift across the enterprise, and we will continue to collaborate with Ocado to innovate the online shopping experience.”

Ocado shares are down 34% over the last year but they surged as much as 47% on 22 June after the Times newspaper reported possible takeover interest from Amazon.com. [Additional reporting by ESM]

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