British online supermarket Ocado is partnering with Asia’s largest online supermarket to help it establish an online offering.
Aeon is headquartered in Chiba, Japan and operates the AEON Retail Stores (formerly known as JUSCO supermarkets), with approximately 100m customers.
Aeon will launch a new online business with Ocado’s Smart Platform ‘OSP’ and will use the Hatfield-headquartered firm’s proprietary customer fulfilment technology and end-to-end software applications.
The agreement plans for the development of a national fulfilment network to serve the whole of the Japanese market, with expected sales capacity of around 600bn JPY by 2030, growing to approximately 1tn JPY by 2035.
Initial customer fulfilment centres will serve the Kanto region, with the first planned to go live in 2023, to be followed by further capacity over the following two years.
By 2025, Aeon expects to have a sales capacity in this region in excess of 200bn JPY.
Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions, said: “Japan is one of the most high tech economies in the world. It is also a unique and exciting market for grocery ecommerce, with sales primed for huge growth in the coming years.”
“Aeon is a giant of Japanese retail with a long-standing commitment to delivering outstanding grocery experiences to its customers.
“I am delighted that they have chosen the Ocado Smart Platform to build on this commitment, bringing cutting-edge innovation and the learnings from a global network of world-class retailers to their ecommerce operations.”
Aeon will pay Ocado certain upfront fees upon signing and during the development phase, then ongoing fees linked to both sales achieved and installed capacity within each CFC and service criteria.
This agreement is mutually exclusive in Japan on the basis of Aeon, in the longer term, meeting market share targets or ordering an agreed amount of CFC capacity per annum.
Motoya Okada, CEO of Aeon said: “We see Ocado as a state-of-the-art, exciting and transformative partner aligned with our strategy of accelerating Aeon’s Digital Shift to serve Japan’s consumers.
“We will be able to give consumers the convenience and more importantly “time” to let them fulfil other more meaningful aspirations.
“We will forge stronger relationships with our customers by offering a more personalized service driven by the capabilities of the Ocado Smart Platform, coupled with Aeon’s capabilities to curate an exciting and compelling product mix centered around serving the lifestyles of our consumers.
“We will actively partner with Ocado to create a smooth, seamless digital experience thereby speeding up our efforts to reform the online customer experience.”