Ocado opens 6th CFC & celebrates 1 year of ranging M&S Food

Ocado Retail has announced that operations have commenced from its latest Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) located in Purfleet, Essex.

The opening of Ocado Retail’s sixth CFC coincides with the one year anniversary of Ocado Retail ranging M&S products on ocado.com.

Increasing capacity
Purfleet is Ocado Retail’s third CFC to go live in 2021, following the reopening of Andover last month and the opening of the mini Bristol CFC earlier this year.

The new CFC is Ocado Retail’s second biggest behind Erith and will help increase capacity to meet the strong demand for online groceries across the UK. Once fully ramped, the site will have the capacity to deliver over 80,000 orders per week.

At its maturity, the site will employ an additional c.1,500 people across all areas of the facility, bringing a significant number of new jobs to south east London. To ensure a smooth opening and to help speed up the ramp time, a number of employees, including approximately 40-50% of the management team, have been hired internally.

Prior to the go-live of both Purfleet and Andover, Ocado Retail was delivering c.356,000 orders per week from Ocado.com. Once all three new sites that opened this year are fully ramped up, Ocado Retail will have increased capacity by 40% compared with 2020, taking total potential capacity (on a pre-Covid-19 basket) to 600k orders per week.

Ocado Retail covers geographies comprising 75% of UK households. Significant investment continues to be made to expand capacity. The build of Ocado’s second mini CFC (CFC 7) in Bicester is on track for launch mid FY22 and progress on the roll out of Ocado Zoom sites continues.

One year of ranging M&S
On 1 September, Ocado Retail celebrates one year of delivering M&S products to customers, marking a transformational partnership between two iconic British brands that promises to “bring the best to your door” and recent customer feedback has certainly proved this*.

Ocado Retail customers’ positivity towards M&S is further shown by the number of delicious, great value M&S Food products appearing in their Ocado shopping. On average there 16 M&S products in our customers weekly shop with that number growing to as many as 26 during key seasonal events like Christmas.

The most popular M&S products sold on ocado.com in the first year of the partnership are as follows [in descending order]:
1. M&S seedless easy peelers
2. M&S chopped Italian tomatoes
3. M&S salad onions
4. M&S Select Farms British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 pints
5. M&S Sweet & Crunchy Carrots

Melanie Smith CEO Ocado Retail, commented, “The opening of our Purfleet CFC is an exciting milestone in Ocado’s journey, enabling us to deliver to more customers than ever before. Our partnership with M&S over the last year has seen our customers regularly add a wide variety of terrific M&S products to their baskets. Now with our increased capacity and slot availability, we’re proud to bring our market-leading range, great value and unbeatable service to even more people across the nation.”