Britain’s Ocado to establish U.S. office in Washington D.C. area

LONDON (Reuters) – British online supermarket Ocado plans to establish an office for its Ocado Solutions technology business in the Washington D.C. area of the United States, it said on Monday.

It said from April the office will be based in Tyson’s, Virginia, ahead of establishing a permanent location in the Washington D.C. area.

Last year Ocado signed major technology partnership deals with Kroger in the U.S. and Sobeys in Canada.

The deal with Kroger will see the roll-out of 20 highly automated distribution centers – or Customer Fulfilment Centres (CFCs) as Ocado calls them – across the United States in the coming years.

The development of a CFC for Sobeys in Canada is also underway for the Greater Toronto area.

“We selected the DC area for its great connections to cities across the U.S. and Canada, as well as for its strong technology and engineering talent pools,” said Luke Jensen, the CEO of Ocado Solutions.

Ocado, which last month sold a half share in its British retail business to Marks and Spencer for 750 million pounds ($995 million), is due to publish first-quarter results on Tuesday.

Shares in Ocado, up 94 percent over the last year, rose 1 percent to 1,134.3 pence by 1153 GMT, valuing the business at 7.84 billion pounds ($10.4 billion).