Ocado has signed a deal with Japan’s biggest supermarket Aeon, to create a new online grocery network using the Ocado Smart Platform. Using Ocado’s CFC solution, the deal will develop Aeon’s online grocery business creating a national fulfillment network serving the Japanese market. Aeon will use Ocado’s product-picking software within their store network as well as offering click-and-collect services from selected sites.
This move is significant as Aeon seeks to compete with retailers offering grocery delivery such as Amazon Fresh and Rakuten, the largest ecommerce player in Japan. The partnership will be served via a configuration of different sizes of facility enabling Aeon to serve a range of shopping missions flexibly. Notably, Ocado recently announced its first mini CFC facility is to open in the UK, flexing its model. This comes at a time where micro-fulfillment centres are being adopted by retailers like Walmart and Tesco.
With Japan one of the most high-tech economies in the world, grocery ecommerce is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, accounting for USD27 billion by 2024 up from USD15 billion, an annual growth rate of 12.3%. A highly urbanised market, with 95% of its population living in cities, Japan is an ideal location for online grocery delivery. CPGs should engage with Japan’s expanding food ecommerce players now to secure early visibility and sales conversion in everyday replenishment missions.
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