The Norwegian online supermarket Oda announced closing of grocery sales on 2 mostly recently entered markets and pivoting into logistics business.
Oda had only entered the German in the beginning of 2023. Nevertheless, the company now has to pull the ripcord and say goodbye to the grocery business. Oda was offering about 9000 SKUs with 400 own-brand items from the organic market Bio Company and served customers in Berlin and parts of lower Saxon. The company announced that it will end its consumer business on June 30.
Malte Nousch, Managing Director of Oda Germany, expresses being “incredibly proud of what the talented team at Oda has achieved in Germany in such a short time.” They have set new standards for quality and excellence in online grocery retail, says Nousch. It is all the more surprising that the company is now abruptly ending it.
The reason for discontinuing the consumer business in Germany, as recently done in Finland as well, is a realignment and change in strategy. The company wants to evolve into a logistics service provider, a Logistics-as-a-Service (LaaS) provider.
In May, the company also announced withdrawal from the Finish market. In the beginning of June company was holding negotiations with all 165 of its employees in Finland with the same intention to continue offering its logistics services to other companies in the country.
The company said its turnover in Finland during the 11 months of last year amounted to more than 22 million euros but losses reached nearly 24 million euros. However, growth was continuing at an annual sales rate of 34 million euros, according to the firm. Profitability in the current market environment is not adequate, the company explained, citing financiers’ stricter demands on terms over the past year.
“Oda managed to raise the bar of online food shopping and home delivery in Finland. Unfortunately, the world around us changed and Oda now has to take a new direction accordingly,” the company’s CEO Karl Munthe-Kaas said in a press release in the end of May. “In the future, we want to make more extensive use of our logistics and distribution technology, of which we have developed the most efficient in the world, and therefore we plan to operate in new markets as a logistics service company,” he continued.
Will it be the fundamental pivot of the business model for the online grocery retailer?