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Ocado to shut Hatfield fulfilment centre, 2,300 jobs at risk

Ocado delivery van

Ocado Retail has revealed it is to halt its operations at its Hatfield customer fulfilment centre, placing 2,300 jobs at risk.

According to the company, under the proposals, it does not expect any change to the volume of orders fulfilled, despite stopping operations at the site.

Instead, Ocado’s retail arm, which is a joint partnership with Marks and Spencer (M&S) has begun a consultation with employees. Its priority and focus will be to redeploy as many people as possible to other sites, primarily to the soon-to-be-opened Luton CFC.

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The consultation is expected to close in the summer of 2023, with Hatfield operations planned to halt in line with the start of operations at the Luton site.

The retailer said in a statement: “The Hatfield CFC remains a foundation stone in the Ocado story, as the company’s first fulfilment centre and a core test bed for the Ocado operating model, now deployed worldwide with Ocado Group’s retail partners.”

“As the online grocery channel grows, our new, enhanced fulfilment centres and technologies will drive a step change in customer experience and efficiency,” Ocado Retail CEO and chairman Tim Steiner said.

“With this capacity coming online, now is the right time for us to halt operations at our oldest facility at Hatfield and consider our future options for the site. customers will continue to enjoy the same outstanding standard of service throughout the region, which will further improve as the benefits of our new technologies are deployed across the network.

“We have many brilliant Hatfield-based colleagues who have been with us for a long time and are a big part of our journey.”

He added: “We want to keep as much of this talent and experience within the business as possible and expect to retain a large proportion of colleagues impacted by these changes, either in our new Luton CFC or across our wider UK network.

“We will be doing everything we can to support those affected through the consultation.”

Image credit: Shutterstock

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