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Ocado’s automated warehouses power rising Q4 revenues

Ocado warehouse fire

Ocado’s CEO hailed the success of its new automated warehouses as growing numbers of orders pushed up revenues in the final quarter of 2018.

The online grocer saw revenues rise 12% to £390.7 million in its Q4 results. While the average order of numbers per week rose 13.1% to 320,000, the average order size declined slightly to £104.91.

The company’s CEO Tim Steiner cited the capacity brought by its new customer fulfilment centres as crucial in allowing Ocado to achieve double digit growth in new customer acquisition, although the grocer did not share specific figures.

Ocado has opened two sites recently in Andover and Erith, with the more recently opened Erith facility now processing 30,000 orders per week. The two sites in Andover and Erith use Ocado Smart Platform, a combined hardware and software platform for fulfilling orders. The sites feature 4G-connected which carry crates around a grid system, working together to put together orders.

The Andover facility opened at the end of 2016, choosing the site because of its direct access to the A303, while Erith, near the M25, opened in mid-2018.

Ocado now has four major distribution depots, with the first established in 2001 in Hatfield and the second in 2013 in Dordon.

As well as using the technology itself, Ocado offers its smart platform as a platform to other retailers.

At the end of last year Ocado signed a deal with French retailer Groupe Casino to provide it with robotic handling equipment. The centre, expected to take two years to complete, will serve the Greater Paris area, the Normandie and Hauts de France Regions.

Ocado is also providing technology to US supermarket chain Kroger through a deal signed in May.