JD.com launches robotic shops in the Netherlands

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JD.com, a leading supply chain-based technology and service provider, has opened two ‘Ochama’ robotic shops in the Netherlands, with more locations to follow soon. Ochama – which combines ‘omni-channel’ and ‘amazing’ – is a new shopping format that merges an online ordering and pick-up shop in which robots prepare the parcels, and a home delivery service.

The first two Ochama pick-up shops are in Leiden and Rotterdam, with two more to open in Amsterdam (Diemen) and Utrecht.

It is the first time that JD.com has opened a physical retail store in Europe. Ochama is also the first omni-channel retailer in the Netherlands that offers both food and non-food in one shopping app.

“With rich experience in retail and cutting-edge logistics technologies that the company has accumulated over the years, we aspire to create an unprecedented shopping format for customers in Europe with better price and service,” said Pass Lei, general manager of Ochama at JD Worldwide.

The automated warehouse is part of the futurist pick-up shop, where people can witness a fleet of robots, including automated ground vehicles (AGV) and robotic arms, that engage in picking, sorting and transferring the merchandize. By simply scanning the app’s QR code at the checkout, shoppers can watch as their orders are carried to them by the conveyor belt as part of a cashierless and hassle-free shopping trip.

Ochama’s chief operation officer, Mark den Butter, noted that by fully utilizing the technologies in logistics and supply chain management, the shops can bring down the product price by an extra 10% to benefit the chain’s member customers.

In addition, people can visit the pick-up shop’s showroom to experience Ochama’s product offering. They can also choose the next-day home delivery service without going to the pick-up shop.

“Dutch people are passionate about innovation and a green environment, and Ochama’s shopping format is designed to contribute to both aspects,” said den Butter. “There will be no queues and fewer traffic jams to do the chores, as they can go for convenience, benefits and everything in one stop at Ochama.”

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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