Ocado Stock Skyrockets on Huge Grocery Delivery Deal With Kroger

Inc.'s share of the tablet computer market will surge to 14 percen

Remember too, Ocado counts Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON:MRW) as one of its customers, having run the technology and delivery network for the Bradford-headquartered supermarket chain's online operation since it launched in 2014.

The deal with Kroger will be the first time that Ocado has brought its business to the U.S. The company is based out of United Kingdom, where it operates its own retail stores and online grocery delivery. As part of the agreement, Kroger (NYSE: KR) will increase its existing investment in Ocado by 5 percent in a subscription rights agreement.

Ocado uses purpose-built robots, which are capable of picking a 50-item order in minutes, to man its automated warehouses, Paul Clark, Ocado Chief Technology Officer, wrote in the Harvard Business Review.

"We are actively creating a seamless digital experience for our customers", Rodney McMullen, Chairman and CEO of Kroger, said in a statement.

Britain's online supermarket Ocado OCDO.L clinched a game-changing deal with Kroger KR.N as its exclusive partner in the US, securing its entry into the world's biggest market and sending its shares up 50 percent.

This is "a transformative relationship which will reshape the food retailing industry in the U.S. in the years to come", said Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner.

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The plan is to roll out three customer fulfilment centres (giant automated warehouses) this year and a total of 20 over three years.

"As we work through the terms of the services agreement with Kroger in the coming months, we will be preparing the business for a transformative relationship which will reshape the food retailing industry in the U.S.in the years to come". "Ocado's current logistics and technical expertise in supporting online grocery fulfillment in Europe allows Kroger to potentially leapfrog both Walmart and Amazon in this space".

Ocado has already partnered with Groupe Casino, Sobeys Inc. and ICA Group.

Shares of Kroger were last seen up more than 3% at $25.78, with a consensus analyst price target of $27.43 and a 52-week trading range of $19.69 to $31.45.

"The scale of the deal could shake up the current US grocery e-Commerce market, offering a step-change in service levels, order accuracy and timeliness", said Roberts in an email sent to Retail TouchPoints.

Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions, told the media on Thursday that getting into the US market would prove a tremendous opportunity as Americans warmed to the idea of online deliveries.

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