Online grocer Ocado has unveiled plans to open its first mini-robotic warehouse in Bristol, with the creation of about 815 jobs in the area.
The warehouse will mark Ocado’s sixth in the UK and will mean customers in Bristol and the surrounding area will have a wider range of options for delivery, including same-day orders.
Its new site will be capable of handling more than 30,000 orders a week compared with around 85,000 from its latest large site being built in Purfleet in east London.
The facility is being built in an existing warehouse in Avonmouth and is set to open at the end of next year or early 2021.
But while smaller in size, Ocado said it hopes the mini customer fulfilment centre (CFC) will have productivity close to that of its standard warehouses.
Tim Steiner, chief executive of Ocado, 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 retail arm is part of a £750 million joint venture with Marks & Spencer, which will see M&S products available through the online grocer from September 2020 at the latest.
M&S partnered with Ocado after buying a 50% stake in its grocery division.
It comes as Ocado is looking to strike more deals to provide technology services to other retailers, which is a fast growing source of income.
The group is looking to widen into a business that sells its software and robotic warehouse technology to other supermarket chains worldwide.
It has already sealed a raft of international deals, with the likes of France’s Casino and Kroger in the US.
Holly Williams is PA Deputy City Editor.