British online supermarket and technology group Ocado said on Monday its first robotic warehouse in Asia, built for Japanese partner Aeon, has gone live.
The warehouse, or customer fulfilment centre (CFC) as Ocado calls them, has begun taking orders from customers across the Kanto region for Aeon's 'Green Beans' brand.
Ocado signed up Aeon as a partner in 2019 in a deal that anticipated the Japanese group would have an online grocery sales capacity of about 600 billion yen ($4.21 billion) by 2030 and 1 trillion yen by 2035.
Ocado said Aeon's second CFC in Japan will be based in Hachioji, Tokyo, with more to follow.
“Grocery spend in Asia is set to outstrip every other region of the globe over the next decade, and online remains the fastest growing channel in grocery across APAC," Ocado CEO Tim Steiner said.
Ocado shares are down 34% over the last year but they surged as much as 47% on June 22 after the Times newspaper reported possible takeover interest from Amazon.com.
On the 29 June, Ocado Retail announced that it has followed rivals by cutting prices of some essential items, adding to hopes a surge in food inflation will moderate this year and provide relief to consumers battered by a cost of living crisis.
Stubbornly high inflation has become a major political issue in Britain as it outstrips pay growth for almost all workers, while higher taxes and rising interest rates are also straining household budgets.
UK food and drink inflation was 18.3% in May, according to the most recent official data, and 14.6% in June, according to industry data.