Sweden: ICA opens highly automated e-commerce warehouse

Stockholm / SE. (ica) Starting in this December, ICA’s highly automated warehouse in Brunna, Stockholm, is fully operational. ICA Gruppen AB is the first in Sweden to open a warehouse with a highly automated solution for e-commerce food. E-commerce has grown rapidly in recent years, with ICA’s e-commerce increasing by 117 percent in 2020 alone. ICA’s ambition is to create an e-commerce business that will be able to grow with ICA’s needs for many years to come. ICA has invested SEK 1.1 billion in the e-commerce warehouse in Brunna, Stockholm and the technology of Ocado. The e-commerce warehouse is equipped with Ocado’s automation solution with unique adaptations to ICA’s business model of independent merchants in collaboration. ICA is the first to offer a highly automated solution for food e-commerce.

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«In collaboration with UK-based Ocado, the world leader in food e-commerce, we have developed a new platform that is scalable for future needs. The partnership with Ocado provides opportunities to improve ICA’s customer offering and streamline e-commerce in food and in the long term also for more product areas,» says Anders Svensson, CEO of ICA Sweden.

As customers’ needs and demands change, ICA needs to respond with speed, flexibility and adaptation. Ocado’s solution offers customers a more personalised e-commerce experience and the technology gives retailers the right conditions to create an online store that is profitable, efficient and can be adapted to the unique needs of retailers.

«The new e-commerce warehouse in Stockholm will enable the company to meet the rapidly growing demand for e-commerce food in Stockholm and the Mälardals region. The new warehouse, together with Ocado’s automation solution, creates the conditions for long-term profitable e-commerce. The fact that we are also the first in Sweden with a highly automated warehouse in food makes me particularly proud,» says Peter Muld, Head of Strategy + Transformation ICA Sweden.

«Now we are taking the next step with ICA’s e-commerce and enabling local ICA stores to offer their customers a more personal and seamless experience online as well, to make everyday life easier. The highly automated e-commerce warehouse in Stockholm has the capacity to deliver a much larger attractive assortment and cover the demand in the Stockholm region for several years to come,» says Tony Holmberg, e-commerce manager ICA Sweden.

The property has a total area of 32,000 square meters and is located in Brunna, Upplands Bro municipality in Stockholm. The e-commerce operations in Jordbro will be gradually transferred to the new warehouse.

Structural cost connected to relocating the e-commerce warehouse

ICA Sweden will gradually transfer its e-commerce warehouse in Jordbro to the new, automated facility in Brunna. The relocation will have an effect on ICA Sweden’s operating result in the fourth quarter 2021, which will be charged with a one-time cost of approximately SEK 70 million.

About ICA Gruppen AB

ICA Gruppen’s operations are divided into segments: ICA Sweden, Rimi Baltic, Apotek Hjärtat, ICA Real Estate and ICA Bank. The core business is grocery retail. With around 1,300 stores and a market share of around 36 percent, ICA Sweden is the leading grocery retailer in the country. The other activities must support the core business and provide scope for further development towards new business opportunities. In 2020 ICA Gruppen had net sales of around SEK 126 billion (EUR 12.29 billion) and around 23,000 employees, most of them in Sweden and the Baltic region. Around 50,000 people work at ICA in offices, with logistics or in one of ICA’s own or retailer-owned stores. ICA Gruppen’s share is listed in the Large Cap segment of Nasdaq OMX Stockholm. The largest shareholder at the end of the year was ICA-handlarnas Förbund (the Association of ICA Retailers). ICA Gruppen is one of the Nordic region’s main players in grocery retail. At the end of 2020 there were 1,840 wholly-owned or retailer-owned stores and pharmacies (Photo: ICA Group).