Sobeys to launch online grocery platform

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Sobeys Inc has signed an agreement with Ocado Group plc to bring the UK online retailer’s grocery ordering, automated fulfillment and home delivery solution to Canada.

Sobeys’ end-to-end online grocery shopping business will be built on the Ocado Smart Platform. With more than 15 years in grocery e-commerce, the UK e-comm specialist will partner exclusively in Canada with Sobeys to launch online grocery shopping services, including:

  • front-end website functionality, supported by proprietary ‘web shop’ and mobile grocery ordering applications
  • construction of Ocado’s latest generation, state-of-the-art automated warehouse designed specifically for grocery e-commerce (in which Ocado will invest to install its grid and robots)
  • last-mile routing management technology to optimize delivery truck efficiency, customer service excellence and punctuality.

The two companies will develop their first Customer Fulfillment Centre (CFC) in the Greater Toronto Area. The build is expected to take approximately two years.

In addition to this initial CFC, the companies will consider developing other CFCs in Canada’s urban areas.

Sobeys president and CEO Michael Medline. (Photo: Sobeys)

“Sobeys intends to play to win in Canadian online grocery shopping. We are very excited to bring this best-in-the-world grocery e-commerce experience to Canadian customers,” said Michael Medline, president and CEO of Sobeys Inc.

“This will offer consumers the biggest selection, freshest products and most reliable delivery. Our end-to-end e-commerce solution will allow Sobeys to build an online offer in a manner that is profitable and creates exceptional value for our customers, investors and supplier partners.”

“We are delighted to be working with one of the leaders in North American grocery retailing. Sobeys is a highly successful and much admired Canadian business and we are proud that they have chosen Ocado Solutions to partner with to build their online grocery business,” said Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado Group.

Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions, added “Channel shift to online in North America is gaining pace as consumers increasingly seek the benefits of grocery shopping from the comforts of their own homes, and as retailers attempt to offer services to meet this growing customer trend. We are pleased to be partnering with innovative and forward-looking retailers such as Sobeys.”

Ocado will provide a comprehensive and customized suite of support and engineering services to enable a smooth launch and sustainable e-commerce operations. The partners will also incorporate ongoing learning and innovation from Ocado’s global experience into their Canadian platform.