In a LinkedIn post, Ladd said: “In 2016 while I was working as the Worldwide Expansion Leader for Amazon Fresh and Pantry, I came to realise that Amazon needed to make a big move in order to greatly improve their online grocery fulfilment and delivery capabilities.”
“In my opinion, one of the best options it could pursue was an acquisition of Ocado Group.”
That, of course, didn’t happen.
In 2017, meanwhile, Ladd was recruited by Kroger to be a strategy consultant.
“My first recommendation was for them to acquire Ocado. Kroger didn’t like the idea (big mistake) but they did like the idea of investing in and partnering with Ocado,” he said.
He added: “I stated the following to the senior leaders I reported to and worked with: Not acquiring Ocado presents the possibility that at some point in the near future, Amazon (or Target, AutoStore, Instacart etc) will acquire Ocado.”
“If this happens, Amazon will severely disrupt Kroger’s operations and growth. The risk is too great to Kroger. An acquisition of Ocado should be a strategic priority.”
Since 2018, Ladd has written multiple articles and posts recommending that Amazon or another company snap up Ocado, and he has shared his views with various people at Amazon, including Andy Jassy and Tony Hoggett.
“This will accelerate Amazon’s grocery business, and allow it to end multiple projects focused on grocery related robotics,” Ladd wrote.
He also recommends that the following companies go down this route.
Target. “This would be an interesting move by Target. The company could leverage Ocado for its own grocery needs and also sell access to Ocado to other retailers.”
“Target could expand Ocado’s fulfilment services to include general merchandise found in most retail stores. Target could leverage Shipt to provide additional delivery capabilities.”
Instacart. “This would be a game changer for Instacart and the grocery industry. Instacart could make the argument to their retail grocery customers that they should outsource all online and curbside pickup fulfilment to Instacart. Instacart’s valuation would double if not triple.”
Walmart. “Frankly, I’m surprised that Walmart hasn’t already acquired Ocado. As the largest grocery retailer in the US, Ocado would provide Walmart with capabilities they don’t currently have, and it would complement the acquisition of Alert Innovation.”
AutoStore. “Ocado’s biggest rival may choose to acquire them.”
Kroger. “Kroger is in severe danger of being disrupted. They need to acquire Ocado.”