Sainsbury's is opening a London fulfilment centre to stop Amazon gobbling up its customers

Helen Cahill
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Sainsburys Announce Rise In Sales For First Quarter
Sainsbury's is predicting online demand to double in the next eight years (Source: Getty)

Sainsbury's is responding to London's growing hunger for online groceries by opening a new fulfilment centre in the capital.

The retailer is expecting its online orders in London to double by 2024, and will meet that demand with a new warehouse in Bromley-by-Bow that can fulfil 25,000 orders per week.

In total, the fulfilment centre will provide 930 jobs. Sainsbury's has already taken on nearly 500 people to staff the site, and expect to recruit another 430 people by 2020.

Read more: Does Amazon Fresh pose a real threat to UK supermarkets?

Clodagh Moriarty, Sainsbury's director of online, said: "The additional capacity provided by the centre means that, working with our 30 London stores which pick online orders, we'll be able to keep up with demand for our service in London."

Sainsbury's commitment to its online offer comes as internet giant Amazon has started muscling in on London's grocery delivery market with the launch of Amazon Fresh, its own online food service.

Amazon already has an extensive delivery network, and has conquered online retailing in most sectors other than food. Its decision to go up against the 'big four' supermarkets sent shockwaves through the industry – Ocado's shares fell to a three-year low on the news – and the service has been growing at pace. Amazon Fresh's footprint has grown from 69 to 128 postcodes less than a month after the service began.

Sainsbury's fulfilment centre - in numbers

  • The warehouse has 185,000 square feet of floor space
  • The site has the capacity to deliver 25,000 customer orders per week
  • The warehouse's automated distribution system operates 1.5km of conveyor belts
  • The conveyor belts can carry over 7,000 crates per hour to Sainsbury's vans
  • A fleet of 160 vans will deliver goods
  • The centre will create 930 jobs by 2020

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