Ocado has reached an exclusive agreement with Swedish supermarket chain ICA to build its online grocery business. It is the third international partnership for the British online retailer, after collaborations with Groupe Casino and Sobeys.
As Sweden's leading supermarket chain, ICA will be pairing up with British online retailer Ocado to develop a strong online grocery business that should help increase the company's current annual revenues of 10.1 billion euros. Similar to its previous deals, Ocado will build a warehouse for ICA in the Stockholm area, which is expected to take about three years to complete.
Ocado is one of the online grocery industry's pioneers and has patented its own order system, which will be adapted to facilitate online orders for ICA as well. Integrating the ICA and Ocado systems will not prove easy, however: the Swedish supermarket chain is operated as a franchise-like structure, with individual store managers controlling product selection and pricing.
It is the third time that Ocado manages to seal an international deal: late November last year, it announced a partnership with French Groupe Casino, which followed a similar arrangement with Canadian grocer Sobeys.