Ocado (OCDO) has put up to 400 jobs at risk at its Andover warehouse after failing to find an alternative site nearby and admitting it will take two year to rebuild.
The online retailer is consulting with 850 workers based at the Andover site over redundancies after it was destroyed by a fire in February.
An Ocado spokesman said: “In light of the fact that the rebuild of Andover CFC will take at least two 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.”
Daniel Adams, national officer for the Usdaw union, commented: “Clearly the staff are devastated by this development, particularly as they have spent the last three months helping to keep the business going after a fire gutted the Andover site.
“Full and meaningful consultations are ongoing with the company, with a view to minimising redundancies and mitigating their impact.
“In the meantime we will continue to provide our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this very difficult time.”
The fire was caused by an electrical issue relating to the recharging of one of its robots at the site which cause the plastic lid of the robot to catch alight.
It’s been a quiet start to the week this morning, with little company news of note on the wires.
On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 has opened flat at 7,349pts after last week’s losses.
Early risers include Devro (DVO), up 2.1% to 215.5p, Premier Foods (PFD), up 1.7% to 37.5p and Hilton Food Group (HGF), up 1.4% to 1,060.5p.
This week in the City
There are plenty of updates from UK-listed grocery and fmcg firms this week, but of most interest will be the full year results of under-pressure Marks & Spencer (MKS).
M&S will release its full-year results on Wednesday and is expected to post a drop in pre-tax profits of around 11% amid a sales slide of close to 3%. The City will also be keen for an update on its deal with Ocado, which will see the pair run Ocado’s UK operations as a joint venture.
The week kicks off tomorrow with full year results from pork and meat producer Cranswick (CWK), while food to go specialist Greencore Group (GNC) will release its half year earnings on the same day and WH Smith is schedule to post its third quarter sales. Tuesday also brings AGMs for Hilton Food Group and Greggs.
Thursday brings the final full year results from Dairy Crest (DCG) before its sale to Saputo, while B&M European Value Retail (BME) posts its full year results and PayPoint and TATE & Lyle (TATE) also release their full year trading figures.