Ocado is expanding into the north of England with the launch of a satellite depot in Manchester.
The online retailer, which has traditionally focused on the south east, now covers large swathes of the Midlands and will be able to service customers as far afield as Macclesfield and Chester when the depot opens on Monday.
Manchester will complement spoke depots in Aylesford, Rugby and Weybridge that feed off Ocado’s main distribution centre in Hatfield, said Neil Jewsbury, the company’s head of trading and marketing.
“We have been growing very rapidly in the south east and this new depot represents a move into completely new territory for us such as The Wirral and Cheshire.”
Now available to more than six million households in the UK, Ocado is attracting just under 24,000 orders a week, Jewsbury added.
This compares to 120,000 orders a week at Tesco.com and 35,000 at Sainsbury’s to You.
Jewsbury declined to comment on when Ocado was likely to become operationally profitable but said that significant improvements had been made at Hatfield in order to speed up order processing and picking.
“Obviously the model becomes more efficient the greater the volume, but Hatfield is getting more efficient all the time through process changes.”