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UPDATED Ocado names location of its first mini fulfilment centre, and strikes Japanese e-commerce supply deal

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Ocado Retail promises same-day grocery delivery to Bristol residents as it says it will open its first mini customer fulfilment centre in the city. And today Ocado Group has also revealed its latest signing of an ecommerce third-party retailer customer –  in Japan. 

Ocado to open first mini-fulfilment centre in Bristol

The new centre will be Ocado Retail’s first mini warehouse and its sixth fulfilment centre, with capacity to deliver more than 30,000 orders a week. It is being built in an existing warehouse that is expected to go live towards the end of next year or the beginning of 2021. 

Ocado, a Top100 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, says customers in Bristol and the surrounding area will have a wider range of options for delivery, including placing orders to be delivered the same day. And it says that despite its smaller size it expects the mini depot to achieve productivity at a similar level to its standard size facilities. To illustrate the difference in scale, Ocado’s fifth fulfilment centre, currently under construction at Purfleet, will have capacity for abut 85,000 orders a week. 

Ocado says this smaller 15,000 sq ft warehouse in Avonmouth is part of a “unique and flexible ecosystem”. Centres such as this will work together with standard-sized centres and micro-fulfilment centres to build a fulfilment network in areas that are not suitable for larger ones. By doing so, it anticipates “long-term network benefits, enabling all Ocado Solutions partners to reach ever more households, while catering to the wide and growing range of shopping mission that customers expect to be served through online grocery.”

Tim Steiner, chief executive of Ocado Group, 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 technology is dynamic and constantly improving, delivered through tried and tested solutions with proven and attractive economics. Our mission is to deliver the future of online shopping today, and we believe we are succeeding.”

About 815 jobs are expected to be supported through the new warehouse.

Peter Davies, development director at St. Modwen Industrial & Logistics, said: “Ocado Retail is a strong addition to our growing list of high-quality customers and the company’s developing offering in the South West will bring significant investment in the regional economy and support hundreds of new jobs.”

Ocado Retail is a joint venture with Ocado Group and Marks & Spencer.

Ocado Group signs new ecommerce supply deal with Aeon, Japan

Meanwhile, Ocado Group announced on Friday that Japanese retailer Aeon had become the latest customer for its Ocado Smart Platform. Aeon is one of Asia’s latest retailers, with an estimated 100m customers, 21,000 stores and operations in 14 countries. It will use the Ocado platform to serve customers in Japan, with a first customer fulfilment centre (CFC) expected to go live in 2023. 


By 2030 it expects to have capacity to sell goods worth about 600bn JPY (Japanese yen), growing to approximately 1tn JPY by 2035 with a national fulfilment network.


“We see Ocado as a state-of-the-art, exciting and transformative partner aligned with our strategy of accelerating Aeon’s Digital Shift to serve Japan’s consumers,” said Motoya Okada, chief executive of Aeon


“We will be able to give consumers the convenience and more importantly ’time’ to let them fulfil other more meaningful aspirations.”


He added: “We will actively partner with Ocado to create a smooth, seamless digital experience thereby speeding up our efforts to reform the online customer experience”


Tim Steiner, chief executive of Ocado Group said: “I am delighted to welcome another extraordinary retailer, and the first from Asia, to the unique international club of grocers powering their ecommerce operations with Ocado. This partnership marks a major milestone for the food retail landscape in Japan, and I am excited that Ocado will play a key role in bringing ever greater levels of convenience and choice to Aeon’s customers.”

Image courtesy of Ocado

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