Ocado partners with French supermarket Carrefour

Ocado has partnered with Carrefour, the world’s second largest supermarket group, to sell a range of French products that it hopes will differentiate it from rival Waitrose in the online grocery market.

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Ocado will offer Carrefour’s “Reflets de France” range of authentic French produce in the UK, alongside its current range of Waitrose and own-branded products.

It comes as a decade-long deal between Ocado and Waitrose that prevented Waitrose from extending its online business into the M25 area ends.

From 1 July, Waitrose will deliver in the lucrative London area – Ocado’s stronghold.

Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado says the Carrefour partnership is an “important development in our strategy to offer the broadest and most diverse grocery range to all our customers in the UK.”

The news comes as Ocado posts a rise in profits for the six months to 15 May. During the period it reported pre tax profit of £200,000 up from the £6.7m loss reported in 2010.

The online grocer says average weekly orders increased 22.6% to 108,350. Mobile orders now account for 15% of its business, it adds, up from 6% in the first half of 2010.

It has also extended its own-label range to 350 products and says more than 68% of customer orders include own label products.

Ocado is also looking into non-food opportunities and poached Tesco’s multi-channel development director Simon Belsham in March to head up the move. It has also signed a lease on a 100,00sqft warehouse to operate a non-food business.

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