John Lewis is to open a 1m sq ft warehouse in Milton Keynes that may make use of 500 folks because it tries to fulfill surging demand for on-line buying.
The brand new facility at Fenny Lock, which it has leased from Tesco for 11 years, will likely be John Lewis’s second greatest distribution centre after close by Magna Park.
As well as, John Lewis has signed a three-year lease on a 300,000 sq ft distribution centre in Bardon, Leicestershire, which it would begin utilizing this month to assist take care of the busy Black Friday low cost interval in late November. That website will likely be run by the specialist Clipper Logistics.
The investments come as on-line orders on the staff-owned group have risen to 60% of total gross sales, from 40% earlier than the coronavirus pandemic.
A string of excessive road lockdowns prompted by authorities efforts to regulate the unfold of Covid-19 have accelerated the shift to on-line shopping for as extra folks have tried it out whereas caught at dwelling.
The brand new warehouse jobs come after the division retailer’s mum or dad group, which additionally owns Waitrose, reduce hundreds of jobs in its shops and head workplace up to now two years and have been named in authorities checklist of companies that paid beneath minimal wage. Final month alone, 1,000 retailer jobs have been reduce throughout Waitrose and John Lewis. The group has additionally closed 16 malls, together with main retailers in York, Peterborough and Sheffield, with the lack of 2,500 jobs.
Andrew Murphy, the chief director of operations for the John Lewis Partnership, the division retailer’s mum or dad group, mentioned the Fenny Lock website can be used for trend, small dwelling furnishing gadgets and know-how merchandise.
The centre is to start working for John Lewis subsequent summer season and can tackle 500 employees over the subsequent two years and spend money on additional automation.
Murphy mentioned the warehouse represented “a unbelievable alternative to energy the continued progress of Johnlewis.com, guaranteeing that we are able to hold tempo with buyer demand – each for our merchandise and for our wide selection of fulfilment and supply choices”.
John Lewis has dedicated to investing £150m in on-line progress over the 5 years to 2025, together with £50m this 12 months.