May 24, 2011, 2:33 PM

Web grocer Ocado builds another distribution hub

The new facility will process up to 120,000 weekly orders.

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British web grocer Ocado Group Plc is building a  distribution center to accommodate what the retailer says is an expected boom in order processing.

Ocado, No. 19 in the Internet Retailer Top 300 Europe, earlier this month began construction on a new 350,000-square-foot distribution center in Dordon, North Warwickshire.

When finished in late 2012, the new warehouse and distribution hub will begin processing as many as 120,000 order per week and eventually up to 180,000 orders, says CEO Tim Steiner. “Ocado is entering a major new phase of development and expansion,” says Steiner.

Ocado already operates a 295,000-square-foot distribution center in Hatfield, another London suburb.

The web grocer also recently released its 2010 financials:

  • Sales increased 29% to 551.0 million pounds ($US892.3 million) from 427.0 million pounds ($US691.4 million) in 2009.
  • Average weekly orders totaled 92,916.
  • The number of active customers increased 19.1% to 262,000 from 220,000.
  • The company now stocks 21,500 individual SKUs.

“The United Kingdom online grocery market is still at an early stage of development,” says Steiner. “This year we expanded our range of SKUs. We have now taken our range from being among the smallest offered in any U.K. supermarket three years ago to one of the largest ranges today.”

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