Ocado wins new customer in Spain as pandemic drives online grocery

An Ocado delivery van is seen in Hatfield, Britain February 26, 2021. REUTERS/Matthew Childs/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) -British online grocer and technology group Ocado said it had signed a new deal to develop Alcampo’s online business in Spain, as the pandemic continues to drive the shift to online grocery buying and helped boost revenues in its home market.

For its first half, which covered the 26 weeks to May 30, Ocado posted a 20% rise in retail revenue to 1.2 billion pounds. Lockdowns in Britain during the period drew new customers to its joint venture with Marks & Spencer.

Ocado says that the pandemic has resulted in a permanent shift to online grocery shopping, helping boost demand for its technology offering with retailers around the world.

It signed a new contract on Tuesday with Auchan Retail for its Alcampo business in Spain which will use the Ocado Smart Platform to help expand its online business across the country.

Under the deal, the pair will build a customer fulfilment centre (CFC) to serve the Madrid region from 2024, with additional CFCs to follow.

To date, Ocado’s state-of-the-art robotic technology has signed partnership deals with supermarket groups including Kroger in the United States, Casino in France and Aeon in Japan.

“As we head towards a post Covid-19 future, it is increasingly clear that the landscape for grocery worldwide has changed, for good,” Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said.

“We continue to build strong partnerships with our clients and win new clients.”

The company added that it remained in conversation with potential new customers.

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