Posted on February 6, 2019 by staff

Fire rips through Ocado’s robotic fulfilment centre


Ocado’s share price has dropped eight per cent since yesterday after a fire ripped through its robot-run Andover fulfilment centre.

The online supermarket said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange that “there has been substantial damage to the majority of the building and its contents” while “part of the roof collapsed”.

Around 200 firefighters were tackled the blaze which began in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said four firefighters had been treated for slight smoke inhalation.

Ocado, which saw losses more than quadruple to £44.9 million last year as it continues to invest heavily in its technology solutions, has around 721,000 active customers.

Customers in the south of England are likely to be hit by cancellations today.

“Unfortunately the fire which started yesterday morning in a corner of the ambient grid was not contained as we believed, and last night expanded,” said Ocado.

“Whilst we are informed by the Fire Brigade that it is now under control, during the night part of the roof collapsed and there has been substantial damage to the majority of the building and its contents.

“Ocado confirms that no members of the Ocado team or the public have been injured. We are very grateful to the members of the emergency services for their efforts.

“Once we have had time to assess the damage and prepare a plan to return the CFC to operation we will update further as appropriate.

“As Andover was providing approximately ten per cent of our current capacity, as a result of this incident there will be a constraint on our ability to meet our growing customer demand and there will be a reduction in sales growth until we can increase capacity elsewhere.”