The Ocado Group 600 series of bots in operation. Image courtesy of Ocado
Ocado has signed up Auchan Poland as a new international customer for its robotic ecommerce and fulfilment technology.
The deal is Ocado’s second with an Auchan company and covers both food and non-food products. The first Polish customer fulfilment centre (CFC) will be built to serve shoppers in the Warsaw region from 2024, using the latest Ocado technology updates, including its latest 600 series of bots (pictured) and on-grid robotic picking. Further CFCs will be announced in due course, while Auchan Poland will also use Ocado’s in-store fulfilment technology in its hypermarkets around the country to support picking from store. Through the deal, Auchan aims to take the lead in the Polish ecommerce grocery market.
Tim Steiner, chief executive of Ocado Group, says he is pleased to welcome a second Auchan business to the Ocado Smart Platform. He adds: “Today though, we recognise that this announcement comes at a very difficult time for everyone in Poland, including many cherished colleagues working in our technology development centres in Wrocław, Krakow and elsewhere. The human tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, and the refugee crisis along its borders, has shocked the world. My thoughts, and those of everyone at Ocado Group, are with the Ukrainian people and everyone impacted by Russia’s invasion of their country.”
Gérard Gallet, chief executive of Auchan Retail Poland, said: “In the current very difficult context we are faced with, our teams are very committed to help Ukrainian refugees with the support of NGOs like Caritas and Red Cross. We strongly call for peace in Ukraine. At the same time, we would like to prepare our company for the future.
“The development of ecommerce services is our priority direction, which we have been consistently pursuing for years, and recently especially intensively. The partnership agreement with Ocado Solutions is the best proof of our commitment. I am convinced that the introduction of such innovative and forward-looking solutions will be a significant step for our company on the way to achieving the leading position in the e-grocery market in Poland.”
The deal is exclusive to both parties in Poland, and Auchan and Ocado will explore extending their relationship into other markets. The two already work together in Spain, developing the ecommerce services offered by the Alcampo business.
Ocado’s technology business runs alongside the Ocado grocery business, now owned in a joint venture with Marks & Spencer and ranked Top500 in RXUK Top500 research.