Ocado Group has been given the go-ahead to stop calling itself a grocer by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), as it shifts its business from online retail to software and robotics.
The CMA found that Ocado Group no longer carries out the retail supply of groceries in the UK, and that those activities are now carried out independently by Ocado Retail.
Therefore, it said, Ocado Group no longer meets the turnover threshold of £1 billion in retail supply of groceries in the UK, and that Ocado group no longer had so control over the operations of Ocado Retail.
Ocado sold a 50% stake in its UK retail business to Marks & Spencer in February, the joint venture starts when Ocado’s existing sourcing agreement with Waitrose ends in September 2020.
As a result of the CMAs ruling Ocado Group has been de-designated as a grocer under the Groceries (Supply Chain Practices) Market Investigation Order 2009.
In July, after revealing H1 results, Ocado Group chief executive Tim Steiner said: “…the centre of gravity at Ocado Group has shifted. Our exciting new joint venture with M&S creates further growth opportunities for both parties in the UK and allows Ocado Group to increase focus on growing our Ocado Solutions business and innovating for our partners.”