Online supermarket Ochama is charting a new course, closing its own robotic shops and replacing them with external partners to set up pick-up points. Meanwhile, the European management has been phased out and control will now come directly from China.
Exit robotic stores
Since Dutch CEO Mark den Butter left last October, Ochama has been managed directly from China. Pass Lei, who co-founded the online supermarket within parent company JD.com, is now at the helm there. And he is changing the course, quite drastically…
While the chain was had made flagships out of its state-of-the-art stores, where robots picked orders for customers to pick up there straight away, three of its four Pick-up Shops have now closed. Instead, Ochama has now “optimised” the model by combining its own warehouse with third-party collection points and home delivery, a JD.com spokesperson told Retailtrends. The new model should further improve supply chain efficiency and provide more favourable prices for customers.
From Spain to Hungary
At the same time, Ochama has expanded geographically: adding to its earlier four European markets, customers in five more countries can now order via the app: Czechia, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain. In those new markets, however, only home delivery is possible – meaning that the retailers is not yet delivering fresh and frozen products.
In France, Germany and the Netherlands, customers can now order fresh and frozen products, if they collect them from a partner. In the Netherlands, there are already eighty partners, mainly ethnic shops, Oriental restaurants and several Blokker stores. Elsewhere, however, takeaway points are still scarce: there are ten in Belgium (mainly in Antwerp), ten in Germany and twenty in France. Ochama still seems to target mainly Chinese consumers in Europe.