Ocado is set to open its first American office as the online grocer ramps up its technology partnerships in the USA and Canada. 

The online grocer’s Solutions business, which licenses its proprietary technology to third-party retailers, plans to open a permanent base in the Washington DC area.

Ocado said it will open a temporary hub in Tysons, Virginia, while it looks for a permanent office.

The Washington DC location will place Ocado’s central teams equidistant between its major partners Kroger in the USA and Sobeys in Canada.

The online grocer said the new office “will be vital in coordinating the delivery of Ocado’s technology, as well as support and engineering services to sites across North America”.

Retail Week understands the majority of staff at the new office will be hired by Ocado in the USA and the number of UK-based staff being transferred across would be negligible.

Ocado Solutions boss Luke Jensen said: “I am delighted that we are bringing Ocado to Washington DC. The new office will give us a direct presence in North America from which to oversee the delivery of our innovative partnerships with Kroger and Sobeys.

“We selected the DC area for its great connections to cities across the USA and Canada, as well as for its strong technology and engineering talent pools.

“From this office, we will also coordinate the recruitment and training of hundreds of highly skilled technologists and engineers across North America. We look forward to welcoming this new talent to support the relentless pursuit of innovation at the core of Ocado’s mission.”

Ocado rocketed into the FTSE 100 after striking a landmark partnership with Kroger in May 2018, giving the grocery giant exclusive use of its automated solutions in the US. Ocado will build 20 customer fulfilment centres across the country over the next few years.

The tech supplier is also in the process of constructing Sobeys’ first automated warehouse in the Greater Toronto area, kick-starting the partnership they penned last January.