Ocado has penned an international deal with French grocery giant Casino as it steps up efforts to license its technology to overseas retailers.
The etailer said it will provide Casino with its Ocado Smart Platform technology and logistics, including the construction of a new automated warehouse in France, in which Ocado will invest to install its robots and grocery picking technology.
Ocado said it will also license its front-end website functionality and last-mile route management.
The deal is separate from the regional partnership Ocado revealed with an unnamed business earlier this year.
Casino will initially leverage the Ocado Smart Platform on its Monoprix website, which will provide its customers with “the largest assortment of food items at the best levels of service and costs”.
It plans to use the technology across more of its banners in the future.
Ocado said the development of its first customer fulfilment centre in France will serve the Greater Paris area, the Normandy and Hauts de France regions.
The construction and launch of the automated warehouse is expected to take at least two years.
Casino will pay Ocado an upfront fee, as well as ongoing fees linked to the use of capacity within the warehouse.
The two retailers said they would “consider further development” of other customer fulfilment centres close to other “large urban areas” in the future.
Casino boss Jean-Charles Naouri said: “This agreement is a major leap in terms of quality: 50,000 food items will be offered in the first stage to customers in the Greater Paris area with precise and speedy delivery at home and through a platform which makes it achievable to do this profitably.
“Groupe Casino is very proud to have sealed this deal with Ocado which will further strengthen the quality of service available to its customers, at the core of its commitments for 120 years.”
‘One of many’
Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said he expected the deal to be “one of many” partnerships it pens with retailers across the globe.
Steiner added: “We are delighted that Groupe Casino has decided to partner with Ocado Solutions to grow and develop its online food business.
“We believe that the scalable, modular end-to-end solutions provided by the Ocado Smart Platform, will allow retailers such as Groupe Casino to build their online grocery offer in a way that is profitable and sustainable, creating value for customers, suppliers and shareholders.”
Ocado said it expects the deal to “create significant long-term value” but would have “minimal impact” on earnings on its current financial year, which ends on December 3.
In its 2018/19 financial year and beyond, the online grocer said profitability of Ocado Solutions is “likely to grow” as fees from the Casino deal are booked and further deals are signed.