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Ocado lost flagship distribution center in England in fire

Staff Writer |
A blaze at British online supermarket Ocado’s flagship packing and distribution complex in southern England has been extinguished but the damage is huge.

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Emergency services have been tackling the fire since Tuesday morning at the highly automated site, which uses hundreds of robots.

Ocado said on Thursday it was working to minimise disruption for customers by increasing capacity at its three other major British sites. It has said the fire would hit sales growth.

Footage shot by the fire service showed the complex, which Ocado calls a customer fulfilment centre (CFC), completely destroyed. The cause of the fire has not been established.

The Andover complex had been providing about 10 percent of the firm’s capacity in Britain, using robotic technology that it is selling to grocery retailers around the world.

Ocado said it would boost capacity at its sites in Hatfield and Erith near London and Dordon in central England to meet orders.

"We apologise to all those affected by this incident and are very thankful to the people of Andover for their understanding and support during this difficult period.

"We would like to once again thank the Hampshire Fire Service, the Hampshire Police and all the other emergency services and agencies for their hard work and professionalism in dealing with this incident.

"As previously announced, there has been substantial damage to the Andover building and its contents," the company said.

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