U.S. grocer Kroger signs deal to use Ocado's home delivery tech

More robots will be packing grocery orders in the

More robots will be packing grocery orders in the

Kroger and Ocado are working to identify the first three sites in 2018 for development of new, automated warehouse facilities in the USA, and will identify up to a total of 20 over the first three years of the agreement.

Ocado, the online supermarket chain turned technology company, has signed a major deal with USA supermarket chain Kroger that could see Ocado technology powering as many as 23 Kroger fulfilment warehouses across the US.

Ocado said it believed Kroger, which had sales of $122 billion (90 billion pounds) in its last fiscal year, was the grocer best-positioned to succeed in the USA sector.

Ocado is making a major push into the USA market after striking a deal to provide its technology in America to the grocery giant Kroger, the world's third largest retailer.

Kroger has almost 2,800 shops across 35 U.S. states and annual sales of $122bn in 2017. It will now discontinue discussions with other US -based retailers.

As part of the deal, Kroger will take a stake in the British company, equivalent to 5 percent of the existing share capital valued at 183 million pounds, Ocado said. A total of 20 will be identified in the first three years of the deal.

Tim Steiner, Ocado's CEO, used the announcement to underline his belief "Ocado's unique, proprietary and industry-leading technology is set to transform the shopping experience of consumers around the world".

Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO said: "We see Ocado as an innovative, exciting and transformative partnership in pursuit of our Restock Kroger vision, to serve America through food inspiration and uplift".

'After years of starving investors of the global deal they so desperately craved, Ocado has been rattling off transformational tie-ups at an astonishing rate in the last few months, ' said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.

As we work through the terms of the services agreement with Kroger in the coming months, we will be preparing the business for a transformative relationship which will reshape the food retailing industry in the United States in the years to come.

The retailer's efforts to create a "seamless digital experience" for customers would speed up as a result, he added.

Ocado has signed a string of similar technology deals with major supermarkets in France, Canada and Sweden.

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