Over the recent holiday break, Aeon, one of Japan’s biggest grocery store chains, announced a partnership to build out Ocado’s robotic fulfillment centers (h/t to ZDNet).
Based in the UK, Ocado is an online grocer with a high-tech platform that combines software and robotic smart warehouses to facilitate fast delivery for customers.
From the press announcement:
Aeon will launch a new company by March 2020 to enhance digital, using AI and robotics, to provide a more convenient online shopping experience for our consumers. Leveraging [Ocado Smart Platform], the first [Customer Fulfillment Center] in Japan will be built by 2023.
This is the latest international partnership for Ocado. The company has similar agreements with ICA Group in Sweden, Group Casino in France, and with Kroger here in the U.S. Kroger invested in Ocado and has already started building out a number of Ocado-style robotic warehouses in places like Dallas, TX and Monroe, OH.
Online grocery shopping is still a small percentage of overall grocery shopping, but it’s growing. Automated fulfillment facilities like those from Ocado and Takeoff will be coming online throughout the next year and could give online grocery shopping a boost by providing ultra fast order processing for either pickup or delivery.
It’s a trend we’ll definitely be watching, around the world, in 2020.