Cincinnati, OH –The Kroger Co. is bridging its digital gap through an exclusive partnership with online supermarket Ocado.

The alliance will bring to the U.S. for the first time the Ocado Smart Platform, which includes online ordering, automated fulfillment and home delivery capabilities.

"We see Ocado as an innovative, exciting and transformative partnership in pursuit of ourRestock Krogervision, to serve America through food inspiration and uplift," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO, in apress release.  "We are actively creating a seamless digital experience for our customers. Our partnership with Ocado will speed up our efforts to redefine the food and grocery customer experience – creating value for customers and shareholders alike."

"Ocado's unique, proprietary and industry-leading technology is set to transform the shopping experience of consumers around the world," said Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado Group (OCDGF). "Our success as a retailer shows that we can offer customers unrivaled choice, quality and convenience, efficiently and profitably. The opportunity to partner with Kroger to transform the way in which US customers buy grocery represents a huge opportunity to redefine the grocery experience of Kroger's customers and create value for the stakeholders of both Kroger and Ocado. As we work through the terms of the services agreement with Kroger in the coming months, we will be preparing the business for a transformative relationship which will reshape the food retailing industry in the U.S. in the years to come."

Kroger and Ocado are working to identify the first three sites in 2018 for development of new, automated warehouse facilities in the U.S., and will identify up to a total of 20 over the first three years of the agreement.