John Lewis has announced that it will open a second Distribution Centre (DC) at Magna Park in Milton Keynes, to fulfil orders both from the retailer's online business and to its 39 shops around the UK.
John Lewis has signed a 30-year lease on the 675,000 sq feet warehouse, which will be situated adjacent to its existing DC at Magna Park which opened in 2009. The move is part of the retailer's plans for improvements in productivity, availability and customer service as well as supporting its expansion plans.
Operations will be relocated from its current site at Park Royal in north London, subject to consultation, which will impact up to 560 jobs. 200 new jobs will be created at a new smaller delivery hub in London, as well as the 450 jobs in Milton Keynes.
Dino Rocos, Operations Director at John Lewis, said: 'We are constantly striving to improve the service that we offer to our customers. For the supply chain this means improving availability. Magna Park gives us the space we need and allows us to continue to build on the improvements we have made in providing better service to our shops and customers at a lower cost.
'We recognise the high level of talent and valuable experience that currently exists within Park Royal and we hope that, if we proceed with the proposal to close Park Royal, as many Partners as possible will be able to continue to contribute to the business in a new role.'
The DC's automation equipment will deliver the capability to issue stock cost effectively little and often, based on demand. It will also allow John Lewis to fulfil more items direct to customers from its central DCs, improving customer service and consolidating the company's position as a leading multi-channel retailer.
As well as providing modern and flexible warehouse space, the development will include an extensive range of eco-friendly enhancements, including LED Lighting and Solar Thermal Water Heating, ensuring BREAAM Excellent certification.