Ocado, Aeon to build third robotic warehouse in Japan

(Source: Reuters/Paul Childs)

British online supermarket and technology group Ocado said on Monday it had boosted its partnership with Japan’s Aeon with plans to build a third robotic warehouse.

The third customer fulfilment centre (CFC), as Ocado calls them, will be in Kuki-Miyashiro, the Saitama prefecture of Japan, and will go live in 2027.

The expansion of the partnership is a boost for Ocado after it said last month that its Canadian supermarket partner Sobeys had paused the opening of a fourth robotic warehouse, prompting a slump in Ocado shares.

Ocado entered an exclusive partnership with Aeon in 2019. A first CFC in Chiba-city opened last year, serving customers in the Kanto region. A second based in Hachioji is due to go live in 2026.

In addition to the network expansion, the partnership will also see Aeon upgrade its live operations with the latest Ocado technologies including what it calls “On-Grid Robotic Pick”.

Ocado said this will bring increasing levels of labour productivity to Aeon’s operations.

  • Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kate Holton, of Reuters.

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