400 new jobs at Ocado after supermarket pens Japan deal

Supermarket Ocado will hire almost 400 developers in the UK after it signed a multimillion-pound deal to provide its online shopping platform to one of Japan’s largest retailers.

Finance director Duncan Tatton-Brown said management was looking for 400 people to work at its development centres. Most of these will be in the UK, split between its sites in London’s Old Street and in Hatfield.

There will also be more head office roles in the UK and more jobs created in the places it operates.

“These jobs are outside of the other roles that we are creating, both head office roles here in the UK, but also some roles in the territories where we operate,” Mr Tatton-Brown said.

Ocado warehouse fire
Fire ripped through one of Ocado’s warehouses in February. (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ocado will open its first warehouse in the region around Tokyo for Japan’s Aeon in 2023, it said on Friday.

The Japanese supermarket has around 100 million customers and employs 580,000 staff. It will use Ocado’s software to bring them online shopping and delivery.

Ocado did not say how much the deal is worth but its operating costs are set to rise by £25 million in 2020 as a result.

The first of the warehouses will be built in the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo. It will start deliveries in 2023, with more warehouses likely to be opened over the following two years.

Aeon will pay fees up front when the deal is signed and during the development phase.

“I am delighted to welcome another extraordinary retailer, and the first from Asia, to the unique international club of grocers powering their e-commerce operations with Ocado,” said Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner.

The company could build around four customer fulfilment centre warehouses by 2025, up to 11 by 2030, and 20 by 2035, Mr Tatton-Brown revealed on a call with reporters.

It comes a day after Ocado announced it was building a new warehouse in Bristol to fulfil 30,000 orders per week. This came after a fire ripped through its Andover warehouse earlier this year.

Shares jumped nearly 12% on the news to 1,350.

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