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Reuters reports that Ocado, the British online grocer that developed a proprietary automated warehouse technology, said yesterday that Kroger is making “good progress” in its effort to identify the locations where it will build distribution centers using Ocado’s systems.

Kroger has made a deal with Ocado to open at least 20 such sites, a move that is seen as critical in its ability to compete more effectively with Amazon. Ocado, in addition to running its own business, has similar arrangements with Morrisons in the UK, Casino in France, Sobeys in Canada, and ICA in Sweden.

It could take as long as two years to open an Ocado-fueled warehouse, the story says. Reports have said that the clock is ticking, with Kroger required to hit certain benchmarks if its is to retain exclusivity in the US.
KC's View:
The clock is ticking, indeed … not just because there is exclusivity to protect, but because the competition continues to move ahead.