business news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that Amazon's $13.7 billion bid to acquire Whole Foods has ramped up interest in the US for some retailer here to license the technology used in the UK by pure-play e-grocer Ocado.

According to the story, "Ocado’s so-called smart platform encompasses everything from robots that pick groceries to software that routes delivery vans."

Ocado CEO Tim Steiner says that the Amazon-Whole Foods deal has "caused skeptical U.S. supermarket operators to rethink the potential size of the online market," which has led to "increased interest from players in the US."
KC's View:
Of course, the story also notes that Ocado "generates minimal profit from its own retail business and securing licensing deals is crucial to justify years of investment and secure more profitable growth."

So maybe one of the questions that has to be asked is why Ocado hasn't been very profitable. Maybe the robots are overcharging?