As Ocado seeks out international grocery partners to which it can license its Smart Platform, it may have found an unlikely catalyst for deals.

Amazon, once linked with a swoop for Ocado, has instead agreed to acquire Whole Foods in a $13.7bn deal – but Tim Steiner believes the move will aid Ocado’s cause.

According to the ever-bullish boss of grocery etailer Ocado, the deal has sent shockwaves through the US grocery market “accelerating” discussions with American retailers by making potential partners “more alert to channel shift”.

If Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition is designed to drive more and more shoppers online, in a market that has been slow to adopt online grocery, Steiner may well have a point.

If that in turn helps Ocado seal a blockbuster deal with a Kroger, an Albertsons or a Publix, Amazon may well end up being Ocado’s unlikely and unintentional knight in shining armour.

Elsewhere today, we revealed that House of Fraser’s digital director David Seeby was departing after just six months, and there were contrasting sales fortunes reported by Booker and Topps Tiles.

Quote of the day

“Instead of trying to rival market leader Boots and faltering, Superdrug has instead carved out its own unique selling proposition centred on its younger customer base.”

Retail Week Prospect analyst Rebecca Marks gives her verdict on Superdrug, which posted surging profits and sales

Today in numbers


The increase in grocery prices last month – the fastest rate of food price inflation since January 2014.


The fall in third quarter like-for-like sales suffered by Topps Tiles.

Tomorrow’s agenda

Primark owner Associated British Foods takes centre stage in the City as it files its latest trading update.

Luke Tugby, head of content