Ocado’s first ‘state-of-the-art’ mini Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) has commenced operations in Bristol today.
The 150,000 square foot automated site, said to be a quarter of the size of Ocado’s Erith CFC, will be able to process over 30,000 orders per week and will support around 815 jobs when it is operating at peak capacity.
Prior to the Bristol facility opening, Ocado Retail was delivering around 374,000 orders per week from Ocado.com. Mini CFCs, like the one in Bristol, enable it to offer local customers (in a denser population area) shorter lead times for delivery, while opening up more capacity for new and existing Ocado customers across the country.
Plans for opening new CFCs in Purfleet and Andover later this year, in Q4, remain on track – providing a further 85,000 and 60,000 orders per week, respectively, when at peak capacity on pre-Covid basket sizes. Once all three new sites are fully ramped up, Ocado Retail says it will have increased capacity by 40 per cent compared with 2020.
The company has also announced plans to open another mini CFC in Bicester, during the first half of next year. While US grocery retailer, and Ocado partner, Kroger is currently constructing a mini CFC, which will open in Romulus, Michigan at a similar time.
Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions, said: “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.
“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.”
Melanie Smith, CEO of Ocado Retail, said: “We are so proud to be delivering the first orders from our newest CFC in Bristol today. Mini Customer Fulfilment Centres like this allow us to better serve our customers, as we provide the best quality products from the widest range of any grocer. We continue to put our customers’ needs first, prioritising speed, amazing service and exceptional value”.