Marks & Spencer to close Warrington distribution centre
Marks & Spencer is to close its Hardwick distribution centre near Warrington in a move that will put 450 jobs at risk.
It is operated by third-party logistics specialist XPO Logistics with transport operations provided by DHL. Both XPO and DHL have now entered a period of consultation with the 450 staff who work on the site.
The move forms part of the retailer’s five-year transformation programme that includes creating a single-tier clothing and home logistics network with a smaller network of large distribution centres.
M&S is in the process of automating its distribution centre in Bradford so it can handle more capacity. The Hardwick distribution centre, which currently handles clothing and home products for stores in the North West and Scotland, will cease operations in September and work will transfer to other sites across the M&S network.
Gordon Mowat, M&S director of clothing and home supply chain and logistics, said: “Closing Hardwick will help to remove some complexity from our network and speed up our supply chain. However, it was not a decision we took lightly and it is not in any way a reflection on the hard work and dedication provided by the teams on site. We will do all we can to support our partners through the consultation process.”
In addition, M&S has appointed DHL to operate its new South East distribution centre at Welham Green in Hertfordshire following a competitive tender.
The site is currently being mechanised and fitted to M&S specifications. DHL will operate the site and provide transport operations. It is set to open in 2019 and DHL will recruit around 500 staff to work there.
The M&S clothing and home distribution network currently comprises 18 sites including large distribution centres in Castle Donington, Bradford and Swindon. The previously announced closure of the M&S distribution centre in Neasden is due to be completed early next year.
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