British online grocery retailer Ocado will open a temporary office next month for its Ocado Solutions technology business in Tysons, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. metro area, the company announced in a press release on March 18.
The company’s permanent office will also be based in the D.C. area. Last year, it signed major deals with Kroger in the U.S. and Sobeys in Canada. As part of its deal with Kroger, about 20 highly automated distribution centers or Customer Fulfillment Centers (CFCs) will be rolled out in the coming years across America.
Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions, said that he was delighted to bring Ocado to Washington, D.C. “The new office will give us a direct presence in North America from which to oversee the delivery of our innovative partnerships with Kroger and Sobeys. We selected the D.C. area for its great connections to cities across the USA and Canada, as well as for its strong technology and engineering talent pools,” said Jensen.
“From this office, we will also coordinate the recruitment and training of hundreds of highly skilled technologists and engineers across North America. We look forward to welcoming this new talent to support the relentless pursuit of innovation at the core of Ocado’s mission,” he added.
According to the leading industry publication Grocery Dive, Ocado will be conveniently located in its new office in Washington, D.C. amid a competitive grocery market. The Kroger’s corporate headquarters are also a short ride away from the Washington location.
“An office in the U.S. will also give Ocado executives a firsthand understanding of the country’s retail landscape, which can provide valuable insight in designing and constructing Ocado fulfillment centers for Kroger. Given the stark differences in density and geography between the U.S. and U.K., an on-the-ground look will help Ocado set realistic expectations for scaling the business alongside Kroger,” Jessica Dumont wrote in Grocery Dive.
The U.K.-based company is the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailer. It also runs its own grocery and general merchandise retail businesses under Ocado.com, along with its Solutions division.
Last month, Ocado sold a half share in its British business to Marks and Spencer for a deal of 750 million pounds ($995 million). The company’s current business value is worth 7.84 billion pounds ($10.4 billion).