Ocado has opened its first-ever mini-customer fulfilment centre (CFC) as it races to fix capacity issues which hampered its expansion during the pandemic.
The online grocer has launched its first mini-CFC capable of handling over 30,000 orders per week despite being around a quarter the size of its usual facilities.
As part of its push to increase capacity by 40 per cent compared to 2020, Ocado launched the centre in Bristol today creating over 800 jobs for the area.
It has also announced plans to open a second mini-CFC in Bicester in the first half of next year as it implements these new state-of-the-art automated sites into its “fulfilment ecosystem”.
These smaller sites, which are are also being deployed overseas as part of the retailer’s partnerships with Kroger and Romulus, allow Ocado to expand to new markets outside of south-east England with relative ease.
This will mark the first new UK site since 2018 for Ocado, which finished 2020 with less active customers than it started with thanks to capacity issues at the start of the pandemic.
“Grocery boardrooms worldwide are wrestling with the question of how to build online capacity that not only meets the growth in demand they have seen in the past year, but that also serves that demand profitably and flexibly in the long term, with a better customer offering than competitors,” Ocado Solutions chief executive Luke Jensen said.
“This mini CFC underlines the flexibility Ocado’s solutions bring to our partners, complementing the scaled benefits of Ocado Retail’s larger sites and shortening the order lead times available to customers in Bristol. We look forward to the next Mini go live in the UK with Bicester, and the first in North America with Kroger, in Romulus, Michigan”.