Kroger announces exclusive partnership agreement with Ocado
Kroger and online supermarket Ocado announced an exclusive partnership agreement in the United States that will accelerate Kroger's creation of a "seamless" shopping experience for America's families. The alliance will bring to the U.S. for the first time the unparalleled technology underpinnings of the Ocado Smart Platform, which includes online ordering, automated fulfillment and home delivery capabilities. As part of the partnership agreement, Kroger will increase its existing investment in Ocado by 5% in a subscription rights agreement. This will bring the company's total investment to more than six percent. Ocado will partner exclusively with Kroger in the U.S., enhancing Kroger's digital and robotics capabilities and helping expand its seamless coverage area to provide every family in America with the convenience of shopping for anything, anytime and anywhere. Kroger and Ocado are already working to identify the first three sites in 2018 for development of new, automated warehouse facilities in the U.S., and will identify up to a total of 20 over the first three years of the agreement. The new relationship is not expected to affect Kroger's earnings per diluted share guidance range for 2018 and 2019 as it is already reflected in the company's Restock Kroger plan.