Ocado to open first ‘mini’ fulfilment centre in Bristol

Ocado is opening a new ‘mini’ robotic warehouse in Bristol as it demonstrates its ability to roll out its automated technology at speed.

The 150,000sq ft site will be completed by the end of 2020 or early 2021, according to the retailer, which is understood to be around half the time a usual warehouse would take to deploy.

Situated in Avonmouth, the new fulfilment centre will be able to process 30,000 orders per week, compared to the 85,000 orders larger warehouses are capable of processing, and will create 815 jobs for the surrounding area.

READ MORE: Ocado and M&S’ new joint venture enjoys double-digit growth

“It is about reducing execution risk, speeding up deployment and extending materially the applicable territories for the international deals,” Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne told Reuters.

This deal will serve to demonstrate to Ocado’s investors that it is able to quickly and effectively install its high-tech automated hardware in nearly any location.

Despite its relatively small share of the UK’s grocery market (1.4 per cent) Ocado is instead focusing on selling its technology and services to third party retailers, eyeing expansion across the EU.

Its chief executive Tim Steiner said: “The Ocado Smart Platform is constantly evolving as we innovate to adapt to changing customer needs. We can now deliver the best customer experience across a whole range of customer missions, through CFCs, mini-CFCs, and micro fulfilment centres.

“Ocado’s technology is dynamic and constantly improving, delivered through tried and tested solutions with proven and attractive economics. Our mission is to deliver the future of online shopping today, and we believe we are succeeding.”

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