Ocado has said up to 400 jobs are at risk at its Andover distribution centre, after admitting that it would take up to two years to rebuild the site after it was destroyed by fire in February.

The online grocer said it was in the process of consulting with around 400 staff employed at the Andover site about possible redundancies, having struggled to find suitable temporary warehouse space in the area.

A spokesman said: “In light of the fact that the rebuild of the Andover [customer fulfilment centre] will take at least two years to complete, it is with immense regret that we have commenced a formal consultation process.

“We would like to thank all of our colleagues for their hard work and we will provide them with all the support we can during this process. We are committed to rebuilding and restoring our operations in Andover and sincerely hope that we are able to welcome any affected colleagues back to Ocado in the future.”

Ocado employs around 850 people at the site and all have been retained on full pay since the £45m CFC burned down in February.

The online grocer and tech specialist installed 10,000 sq ft of temporary refrigeration units at the Andover site in April, in a bid to return to fulfilling deliveries from the site.

In a bid to ease congestion on deliveries for customers, Ocado signed a deal with Morrisons earlier in the month, which saw the big-four grocer return the 30% capacity it had in the delivery businesses’ Erith CFC until February 2021.

In exchange, Morrisons will not incur any costs associated with the use of the CFC and is free to explore deals with other digital delivery suppliers.