LONDON (Reuters) – British online grocer Ocado <OCDO.L> plans to open its first mini robotic warehouse, or customer fulfilment centre (CFC), in Bristol, western England, it said on Thursday.
While Ocado’s retail business holds only a 1.4% share of Britain’s grocery market, its warehouse technology has powered the group’s 8.1 billion pound ($10.4 billion) stock market valuation.
The new facility, which is being built in an existing 150,000 square feet warehouse, will be Ocado’s sixth CFC and is expected to go live at the end of 2020 or early 2021. It will support around 815 jobs in the local area.
The mini CFC will have the capacity for over 30,000 orders per week compared to approximately 85,000 orders per week expected from Ocado CFC 5, currently under construction at Purfleet, east of London.
Despite its smaller size, Ocado expects the Bristol site to achieve productivity close to that of its standard facilities.
Ocado said that in the future, mini-sized CFCs can complement its standard-sized ones to build a fulfilment network including in areas not suitable for larger CFCs.
(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)