Marks & Spencer to open major distribution centre at London Gateway
Marks & Spencer is to build a major distribution centre at London Gateway, the new deep-sea container port and logistics park which is due to open later this year on the Thames in South Essex.Subject to planning, the retailer will begin construction of the new centre in 2014. The facility will create approximately 700 jobs with hundreds of additional workers employed in the construction phase.
M&S said the location of London Gateway will enable it to unload millions of products from ships and take them directly to the distribution centre. The location will also give M&S closer access to key UK cities, thereby saving costs and road miles.
The 900,000 sq ft facility will be used to store clothing, homeware and gift products before they are transported to both UK and international stores. The retailer will also make use of the rail network being built at London Gateway, which will link to the rail terminal at the M&S distribution centre in Castle Donington.
M&S will invest £200 million in the scheme.
Marc Bolland, M&S chief executive, said: "London Gateway will become our third large distribution centre in the UK as we transform our logistics operations into a modern and agile supply chain, fit for the future of M&S. As we become an international, multi-channel retailer, London Gateway will help us become more efficient by cutting costs and locating our supply chain closer to our stores and our international markets. It will also help us deliver against our Plan A objectives by removing road miles and emissions from our network."
The announcement, which marks a major milestone in the development of the 1,500-acre London Gateway site, was welcomed by Prime Minister David Cameron who visited London Gateway this morning and discussed global trade with an audience of 200 business leaders.
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