Ocado, micro-fulfilment & the future of retail

Case study: Next day delivery is so 2019. For today's convenience-conscious consumer, minutes count.

by Jennifer Small

In the past year, nearly one in five British households has bought groceries online, totalling 5.7 million shoppers (Kantar). But online shopping services, formerly reserved for the big weekly shop, have been inundated as households have gone online for all purchases great and small.

This swarm of new consumers want the convenience of popping into the local shop, and retailers have had to adapt quickly. Micro-fulfilment centres (MFCs) now support retailers with rapid home deliveries, and their numbers are increasing in the UK as they are proving especially valuable for fulfilling smaller online grocery orders.

Interact Analysis predicts there will be 80 MFCs in the UK by 2023. It’s a concept quickly finding favour: Tesco is rolling out 25 in-store MFCs over the next three years, the first of which opened in West Bromwich last June.

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