ONLINE grocer Ocado has confirmed that its multi-million-pound customer fulfilment centre (CFC) will be coming to Andover.
The warehouse at Walworth Business Park has now been secured by the company and, subject to planning permission, work is expected to start in a few months.
The high-tech facility – plans for which were exclusively revealed by the Advertiser in May – is expected to bring hundreds of new jobs to the town. It will be one-third the size of Ocado’s second site in the Midlands but will be for the sole use of Ocado and not shared with Morrisons.
The company will use the new warehouse to showcase Ocado’s latest technology to international retailers which might use its infrastructure.
In its half-yearly statement, the company said: “We have secured an existing site for a smaller future CFC in Andover, Hamp-shire, and subject to planning permission, expect to commence building works in our fourth quarter.
“We plan to open the site for Ocado’s sole use at the end of 2015, following extensive testing of our new modular and scaleable fulfilment solution. The expected capacity of this site is 65,000 orders per week.”
The cost of developing the centre this year is expected to be £30million.
On Tuesday, Ocado posted a profit for the first half of its financial year, fuelling hopes that it is on track to record its first ever annual profit.
Chief executive Tim Steiner said: “The online grocery market continued to outperform the traditional bricks and mortar supermarkets, with the overall rate of growth currently impacted by subdued and cautious consumer |spending.
“At the same time, Ocado |outperformed its key online grocery competitors.”