Ocado Retail, the £750m joint venture between Ocado and M&S, has agreed a deal to establish a 300,000 sq ft teched-out facility at SEGRO Logistics Park Purfleet.
The unit will house Ocado’s robotic packing operation, and comes with a BREEAM Excellent sustainability rating. Work is due to begin on site later this month.
Ian Starling, group head of real estate at Ocado, said: “These are exciting times for Ocado.com and this latest customer fulfilment centre will provide new capacity to bring an even better offer to UK customers.”
The online supermarket is known for investing in tech and has its own subsidiary software company, Ocado Technology, which works on automation, robotics, data science, artificial intelligence and big data.
Ocado employs a hub and spoke operating model, where Customer Fulfilment Centres are the hubs and local spokes are smaller depots from where the majority of customer orders are delivered. SEGRO Logistics Park Purfleet, Essex, is the second Ocado facility in SEGRO’s portfolio, joining the 68,000 sq ft spoke centre at the Origin development in Park Royal, London.
In February, an electrical fault in a charging unit for the robots was the cause of a serious fire at the company’s Andover warehouse.
SEGRO is a leading owner, manager and developer of a modern warehouses and light industrial property with a focus on tech innovation. The REIT was also one of the first European real estate companies to invest in venture capital firm Fifth Wall’s $503m fund, which will back technologies focused on property.
Alan Holland, business unit director for Greater London at SEGRO, said: “Having helped Ocado establish facilities on the west side of London, we welcome the opportunity to support the growth of its operations in the east of the capital as well. It’s great news for online shoppers in the area and for the local economy around Purfleet.”
The fulfilment centre will create up to 1,500 local jobs and help meet demand from its increasing customer base to the East of London.