Ocado opens new Bristol mini Customer Fulfilment Centre

Supermarket chain Ocado has just announced that operations have commenced from the new mini Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) in Bristol.

The new 150,000 sq ft facility, a quarter of the size of Ocado’s Erith CFC, has the capacity for over 30,000 orders per week and will support around 815 jobs when it is operating at peak capacity.

The Bristol mini-CFC offers local customers shorter lead times for delivery, while opening up more capacity for new and existing Ocado customers across the country.

Prior to the Bristol facility opening, Ocado Retail has been delivering c. 374,000 orders per week from Ocado.com. CFCs in Purfleet and Andover (85,000 and 60,000 orders per week, respectively, when at peak capacity on pre-Covid basket sizes) remain on track for opening in Q4 2021. Once all three new sites are fully ramped up, Ocado Retail will have increased capacity by 40% compared with 2020.

The mini CFC format is an important part of Ocado’s fulfilment “ecosystem” which includes a wide range in sizes of state-of-the-art automated sites, as well as software that enables more efficient manual order picking in stores.

As the grocery online market continues to expand, Ocado’s partners are building fulfilment networks with Ocado’s CFC ecosystem that will allow them to reach wide geographies, with the best possible economics and a market-leading proposition for customers.

Within that ecosystem, mini CFCs like Bristol enable partners to extend automated capacity to wider geographies, and to serve denser areas with shorter lead times. Ocado Retail has another mini CFC planned for go-live in H1 2022 in Bicester, while Kroger is currently constructing a mini CFC which will open in Romulus, Michigan at a similar time.

Ocado aims to play an active role in the community, with the 815 new jobs across a variety of roles from Personal Shoppers (our warehouse operatives) to Management as well as Engineers, Tech support and Drivers

Luke Jensen, CEO, 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 Ocado Retail, commented, “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”.