Ocado begins search for new automated warehouse site after fire

Ocado fire
(PA Images)
// Ocado has begin a search for a new 100,000-300,000sq ft site
// It is seeking a location close to its site in Andover, which was recently destroyed by a fire
// A lease of around two years will be sought while repairs are made to its previous site

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Ocado has begun a search for a new location for its high-tech automated distribution centre after a fire destroyed its previous site in Andover.

According to Property Week, the online grocer has appointed real estate advisory business Gerald Eve to find a new site between 100,000sq ft and 300,000sq ft close to its previous site in Hampshire.

It is understood to be looking for a short-term lease of less than two years to handle its operations while its Andover site is being repaired.

The 320,000sq ft Andover site could process around 65,000 orders a week when it was in full operation, utilising hundreds of autonomous robots which move orders from 250,000 storage locations.

A blaze at its Andover site began in the early hours of Tuesday and continued to rage for more than 24 hours, eventually requiring around 20 fire engines and 200 firefighters to bring it under control.

Ocado warned that the fire would put a “constraint on our ability to meet our growing customer demand”.

“There will be a reduction in sales growth until we can increase capacity elsewhere,” the grocer added.

Ocado’s shares have dropped around 15 per cent since Tuesday.

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