Lidl opens new £55 million regional distribution centre
The 50,000 square metre hub in the Exeter Gateway business park has created around 500 jobs and will service 40 stores across the region during the busy Christmas period, rising to 51 from February 2018.
The facility will serve stores from Penzance to as far as Burnham-on-Sea and across to Weymouth, with 1,700 pallets of products projected to go through its premises every day. The warehouse, which is now gearing up for the busy Christmas period, is predicted to distribute 40,000 turkeys, 1.5 million boxes of mince pies, 100,000 bottles of prosecco, 150,000 packs of carrots, 100,000 packs bags of parsnips and 100,000 packs of Brussels sprouts in the week leading up to Christmas day.
Lidl is planning to refurbish half of its existing estate in the South West in the next year. It has also confirmed contracts with 14 local suppliers including Wyke Farms, County Confectionery, Kanes Foods and Crediton Dairy which will be worth over £100million across the next five years.
Mark Henry, regional director at Lidl, said: “The South West is an important region for Lidl and it’s an area where we’ve experienced particularly strong growth. We remain committed to creating high-quality jobs for the communities we serve and this new centre gives us another great opportunity to do just that.”
Lidl’s expansion plans include aiming to invest £1.45 billion in the UK by 2019. Regional distribution centres will make up a significant part of this objective.
The opening follows an announcement from the supermarket earlier this week that it is now the highest-paying supermarket in the UK, after giving all 16,000 of its hourly-paid employees a raise. This includes increasing entry level wages to the new voluntary living wage rate.
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