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Auchan Poland wants Ocado’s new on-grid robots

Auchan in Poland will be one of the first retailers to use Ocado’s innovative on-grid robotic picking technology for its online business. For Poland, Ocado will be the exclusive technology partner across all areas of B2C retail. It was only at the beginning of this year that Ocado presented its new robotics to the industry, with which single products can be picked directly in fully automated high-bay totes warehouses.

After Auchan decided last year to place its Spanish country operation with the online arm of its Alcampo sales line technologically in the hands of Ocado last year, the Polish country operation is now following suit. Auchan’s online business in Poland will be further developed with the help of the Ocado Smart Platform (“OSP”).

Auchan Poland and Ocado will initially build a Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) for the Warsaw region from 2024, with further distribution centres to follow at a later date. Auchan Poland will also deploy Ocado’s In-Store Fulfilment (ISF) software in its hypermarkets nationwide to enable more efficient picking in these shops. The agreement applies to both food and non-food assortments.

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Robot picking from tote to tote

Auchan Poland plans to use the innovations that Ocado announced in January, which include the on-grid robotic picking. In this, numerous robots suck individual products from totes directly in the fully automated tote warehouse at high speed and transfer them to other totes.

In addition to the physical fulfilment solutions, Ocado will provide the end-to-end Ocado software platform, as well as a full range of technical and support services to ensure the continued development of Auchan’s e-commerce operations in Poland.

Exclusivity for Auchan in Poland

The fee structure agreed with Auchan Poland is similar to that agreed with other Ocado Solutions international partners. Auchan Poland will pay Ocado certain fees upfront and during the development phase, then ongoing fees linked to both sales generated and installed capacity within the distribution centre and service criteria.

Gérard Gallet, CEO of Auchan Retail Poland, said: “The development of ecommerce services is our priority direction, which we have been consistently pursuing for years, and recently especially intensively. The partnership agreement with Ocado Solutions is the best proof of our commitment. I am convinced that the introduction of such innovative and forward-looking solutions will be a significant step for our company on the way to achieving the leading position in the e-grocery market in Poland.”

The video from Ocado shows the innovative On-Grid Robot Pick picking process for single products. (Video – in English: Ocado)

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Björn Weber

Björn Weber has been a journalist, analyst and consultant specialising in the retail and consumer goods industry for over 20 years. Prior to founding Fourspot, which is publishing The Retail Optimiser, Björn Weber headed the international analyst group LZ Retailytics. Previously, he was Research Director Retail Technology and Head of Planet Retail in Germany. Before that, Björn Weber was editor for IT & logistics topics at Lebensmittel Zeitung for eight years. Björn Weber is a member of the jury of the Retail Technology Award (Reta Europe) of the EHI. He is a regular speaker at events of the EHI, the NRF, industry media and the Consumer Goods Forum.

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