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Ocado Andover staff face redundancy following warehouse fire

Ocado's warehouse fire

Ocado plans to make staff redundant following the fire at its Andover distribution centre in February.

The grocer has failed to find a suitable alternative site in the Andover area and faces a two-year period to rebuild the old facility.

The redundancy consultation will affect around 400 employees out of 850 people employed at the site, with the redundancies affecting pick and pack staff rather than drivers.

A company spokesperson said: “In light of the fact that the rebuild of Andover CFC will take at least 2 years to complete, it is with immense regret that we have commenced a formal consultation process.

“We would like to thank all of our colleagues for their hard work and we will provide them with all the support we can during this process.  We are committed to rebuilding and restoring our operations in Andover and sincerely hope that we are able to welcome any affected colleagues back to Ocado in the future.”

The consultation was launched the day that Ocado renegotiated its agreement with Morrisons to free up additional warehouse capacity. Under the new agreement, Morrisons.com suspended its use of Ocado’s Erith fulfilment centre. It had accounted for over 10,000 orders from the site and has the right to use 30% of the centre’s future order capacity. Morrisons will resume using the warehouse in February 2021.

The fire, which started on the day that Ocado announced its full-year financial results, wiped out one of four centres. Andover had been providing around 10% of Ocado’s total capacity.