An emergency evacuation of Booker’s Hampshire depot due to a nearby fire at an Ocado warehouse has caused delivery issues for partnered stores.

The disruption started when the online grocery retailer’s depot on the Walworth Business Park in Andover caught fire at 2.44am on 5 February.

More than 200 firefighters spent a day extinguishing the blaze and set up a 500-metre radius evacuation site for the safe removal of toxic chemicals from the warehouse.

All scheduled deliveries on 7 February from the Booker depot 1,214 feet away were cancelled because of the evacuation. This affected stores as far away as Cornwall and Buckinghamshire.

The wholesaler told retailers via email and made contact with retail development managers. 

One retailer told RN only Londis and Budgens retailers were affected, as Premier store owners got their deliveries from Booker’s Eastleigh depot. 

Chris Herring, of Londis Shiphay Post Office in Torquay, was affected by the disruption, but praised Booker for its response. “I had enough stock from previous deliveries to prevent any loss in sales and Booker was really prompt and professional in informing me about the issue,” he said.

“It wasn’t really Booker’s fault and they’ve been honest in telling me the fire could have caused further disruption to weekend deliveries. I had no issues with my weekend deliveries.”

Booker’s email last week said: “Due to a fire at a nearby warehouse, our Andover depot has been evacuated by the emergency services. As a result, all deliveries from our Andover depot on Thursday 7 February will be cancelled. We will provide updates and advice as soon as more information is available.”

A Booker spokesperson told RN: “We are working to limit the impact on our customers and apologise for any inconvenience.”

Twinings and health retailer Abel & Cole also had warehouses on the estate. 

Read more: Booker deliveries disrupted following Ocado warehouse fire evacuation