Ocado will open its first “mini” depot in Bristol, capable of handling over 30,000 order per week.
The new Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) is the online retailer's first small-scale facility, despite its 150,000 sq ft size, located in Avonmouth, and constructed by St. Modwen. It will handle 55,000 fewer orders than its counterpart under construction in Purfleet.
Ocado said the new facility will support around 815 jobs in the local area and will be completed at the end of 2020 or early 2021.
Tim Steiner, chief executive of Ocado Group, 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.”
Ocado’s CFC’s are noted for their use of high-tech robots which automatically find and load customers groceries into crates for delivery.
The retailer hopes that smaller facilities will be the future for areas not suitable to hold larger sites, as it plans to create a “fulfilment network” across the country.
The new facility will enable customers in Bristol and the surrounding area to have a wider delivery options, including placing orders for delivery later the same day.
Peter Davies, development director at St. Modwen Industrial & Logistics, said: “Securing a customer of this nature is testament to the quality of our scheme, its prime location and confirms our commitment to speculatively build-out sites where appropriate.
“Across our parks, we’re able to cater to both leading national occupiers as well as small-to-medium-sized industrial and logistics businesses. Ocado Retail is a strong addition to our growing list of high-quality customers and the company’s developing offering in the South West will bring significant investment in the regional economy and support hundreds of new jobs.”