Ocado’s grocery robots launch in Asia amid UK woes 

Ocado launches first robot warehouse in Asia to revive its frail fortunes amid UK woes

Ocado has launched its first robotic warehouse in Asia to revive its fortunes amid Britain’s woes.

The company that owns the online supermarket and a technology company opened a distribution center in Japan yesterday.

Ocado is reeling from a £500 million loss in 2022 and an 80 per cent drop in its share price since the peak of the pandemic in 2020.

Last week, the chairman of Marks & Spencer, which owns 50 percent of Ocado’s supermarket business, said there was “work to be done” to turn it around.

Archie Norman told investors he was ‘not happy with where it is’, but added: ‘We strongly believe in the future of Ocado, we think it’s the right model for M&S online.’

Eastern promise: Ocado boss Tim Steiner, pictured in 2015 with his partner Patrycja Pyka, said Asia’s grocery spending will surpass all other regions of the world in the next decade

Ocado’s supermarket division – Ocado Retail – has been hit by customers adding fewer items to their online shopping basket due to the rising cost of living.

But as UK business struggles – analysts described the latest results as ‘really dismal’ – Ocado continues to open high-tech warehouses around the world.

It is now partnering with Japanese group Aeon to distribute orders for its new grocery delivery brand Green Beans.

After opening a warehouse in the Kanto region, they plan to open a second center together in Tokyo.

The supermarket is focusing on growth in the Asian grocery market.

Ocado CEO Tim Steiner said, “Grocery spending in Asia will surpass all other regions of the world over the next decade.”

But the move did little for the stock, which fell 1.8 percent, or 10.4p, to 581.6p.

Analysts have suggested that Ocado should spin off its retail business and focus on its robotic warehouse division.

Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at AJ Bell, said, “Ocado appears to be at a tipping point.”