The closure of Ocado's Hatfield fulfilment centre, which is expected later this year, has put 2,300 jobs at risk. Ocado is a popular online grocery retailer, which runs the site in collaboration with Marks & Spencer, and the closure of the warehouse is expected to have a significant impact on the local community.
The announcement comes at a difficult time for the retail industry, which has already been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Online retailers, however, have seen a surge in demand as consumers have shifted to online shopping due to lockdowns and social distancing measures. Despite this trend, Ocado has still decided to close the Hatfield site, which has been operational since 2010.
The decision to close the Hatfield site is reportedly due to operational issues and capacity constraints. The site, which is over 300,000 square feet, has been struggling to keep up with the demand for online grocery orders, and the closure is expected to improve efficiency across Ocado's network.
In a statement, Ocado said it is "committed to supporting all colleagues who may be affected by the closure, and will be working with them over the coming months to explore alternative opportunities within Ocado Group, including our new Luton Customer Fulfilment Centre, due to open later this year."
The closure of the Hatfield site is not only a blow to Ocado's employees but also to the local community. Hatfield is a small town located in Hertfordshire, just north of London, and the fulfilment centre is one of the largest employers in the area. The closure of the warehouse will have a significant impact on the local economy, and it is expected that many businesses in the area will also be impacted as a result.