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Ocado extends Tharsus partnership to deliver step change in grocery market

Northumberland-based robotics company, Tharsus, has announced that its partnership with online grocery platform, Ocado, has been extended.

The new agreement builds on a seven-year relationship and last until September 2024, as Tharsus continues to support Ocado’s efforts to deliver step change in the online grocery market with its proprietary Ocado Smart Platform.

Ocado uses technology to enable the food retailing industry to deliver best customer experience combined with sustainable economics.

The partnership will also result in a multi-million-pound investment in Tharsus’ factory in Blyth, securing more than 100 jobs.

Tharsus has become a leader in UK robotics since being founded in 1964, delivering technology solutions to companies such as DHL, Automata and Small Robot Co.

The company will play an important role in helping Ocado respond to rapidly growing market demand for its automated, robotic fulfilment platform.

Brian Palmer, CEO of Tharsus, said: “The coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on how the public engages with the supermarket sector, forcing retailers to adapt quickly and develop online platforms to supplement bricks and mortar stores.

“The model pioneered by Ocado will increasingly define the grocery experience in the ‘next normal,’ as shoppers opt for home delivery services that limit health risks.

“Tharsus’ robotics has been central to keeping Ocado at the cutting edge of such trends, facilitating its disruption of the global grocery market and ascension to the pinnacle of the UK technology sector.

“We are excited to continue our long-standing relationship and push the boundaries of a rapidly evolving sector.

“Aside from the innovation gains to be made, the partnership will bring new investment and jobs to the local area. We were founded in the North East and are proud to be a focal point of the community here.”

Mark Fryer, engineering and supply chain director at Ocado Group, added: “Tharsus has been a strong and constant partner in our journey to become the world’s leading e-commerce platform for grocery.

“We are delighted that they will remain part of this journey in the future and we are glad that our work together will bring investment and jobs to the region as they share in the growth of Ocado Group’s business globally.”