Tesco is pressing ahead with the rollout of its network of urban fulfilment centres, after its latest results showed online grocery sales returning to growth.

The sixth UFC opened at its Bar Hill Extra store in Cambridgeshire last week, using excess space in the store for a dedicated online picking hub that will serve 22 dotcom vans as well as click & collect

Tesco has plans to launch 25 of the UFCs by the end of this year. The Bar Hill store joins West Bromwich, Lakeside, Horwich, Bradford and Rutherglen in the lineup to date.

The supermarket said it was part of its strategy to provide “easily the most convenient” option for customers.

The centres use automated technology in a separate part of large stores to enable faster picking of groceries and reduce congestion on the shop floor.

The latest launch comes after Tesco CEO Ken Murphy last week revealed online sales returning to growth in Q3, with sales 59% higher than pre-pandemic levels and participation among shoppers in online stabilising at around 13%.

“Our online orders remain more than 50% higher than pre-pandemic levels and we are committed to making online shopping as easy and convenient as possible for our customers,” said Tesco online operations and fulfilment development director Rob Graham.

“We are delighted to open our sixth urban fulfilment centre at Bar Hill, which will allow us to pick orders from a dedicated space within the store and improve efficiency, giving customers a more convenient store shopping experience overall.”