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Ocado distribution warehouse blaze to affect sales figures

Following the fire at one of Ocado's state-of-the-art Customer Fulfillment Centres in Andover, where robots collected and packed groceries, is causing the firm major disruption.

Over 300 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze on Wednesday afternoon, when it was declared a major incident. Four have been treated for minor smoke inhalation, but no Ocado staff were injured.

Ocado said the fire, which started in a corner of the ambient grid, has caused substantial damage to the majority of the building and its contents, and part of the roof has collapsed.

More than 30,000 orders are processed at the warehouse each week, and the company said it expected a fall in sales until it could shift operations to other warehouses.

Ocado stated, '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.

'Ocado is working hard to minimise disruption for customers by increasing capacity at other facilities. Ocado is grateful for the patience and understanding of customers during this period.'

The news comes days after Ocado celebrated a 12% sales rise for for the 52 weeks ended 2 December 2018.