Ochama has arrived in the Netherlands: the subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has opened its webshop and two robot pick-up points today, with a month’s delay.
Robots pick the products
The webshop promises both food and non-food items at competitive prices: the platform is only accessible to members, who will get a 10 % discount on everything for a fee of 10 euros a year. The assortment, which currently consists of 7,000 items, will be expanded soon and is promised to cover everything from food to personal hygiene products and home accessories. The newcomer – a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com – is said to be buying its food supply from Dutch purchasing alliance Superunie, specialised magazine Distrifood reports.
The two stores that have opened are robotised pick-up points in Leiden and Rotterdam, two more branches in Utrecht and Amsterdam (Diemen) have already been announced. Customers can collect their online orders the same day, the formula assures, which is possible thanks to robot fulfilment: robots carry out the order picking in front of the consumer’s eyes. Home delivery is nonetheless also possible.
Omnichannel and amazing
Parent company JD.com has made e-commerce logistics its speciality and works with fully automated robot warehouses in China as well. However, there are still up to twenty employees working in the pick-up stores. The staff mostly provide customers with information, Dutch e-commerce magazine Twinkle reports, although the store also offers a showroom where part of the assortment – such as toys and electronics – is on display.
Ochama, a contraction of “Omnichannel” and “Amazing”, calls its own robot technology “the future of retail”. “We have great ambitions and are using the year ahead to introduce people to our concept”, COO Mark den Butter states. Initially, the first stores were to open as early as December, but after a pilot in Leiden, that got delayed until now.