Ikea UK has opened a new 452,000 sqft customer distribution centre in Kent enabling faster, more sustainable home deliveries to customers in London and the southeast of England, as the homeware firm responds to the popularity of online shopping.
The new multi-million-pound facility, situated near the Dartford Crossing and M25, is designed to deliver almost one million orders annually – with many reaching customers within 24 hours of an order being placed. Ikea reported that almost every second purchase in London takes place online.
Closer to the customers that it serves, the new Dartford distribution centre will enable a reduction in CO2 emissions and is operated by 100% renewable energy. By 2025, 100% of Ikea customer orders in London will also be delivered by electric vehicles. To enable this, Ikea will install 28 rapid HGV chargers at the distribution centre, to power up HGVs while loading and unloading Ikea goods in under an hour. Additionally, 60 overnight chargers are set to be installed.
Investment in the new distribution centre is the latest milestone in Ikea’s ongoing London expansion. Jakob Bertilsson, county customer fulfilment manager, Ikea UK, said: “In London, we are opening new Ikea stores, investing in our fulfilment network and offering new services to meet more people where they live, work and socialise. Establishing a distribution centre in the region is a hugely exciting and significant step in our investment in the city, as well as a continuation in our omnichannel strategy to support customers however they choose to shop with us.
“We want people to enjoy the Ikea experience whether visiting our stores, home planning or online. The distribution centre will enable this by increasing availability of our products and reducing lead times. It also builds on our ambitions for 100% zero emission ‘last mile’ deliveries for 2025, a critical component of our sustainability strategy.”
The launch of the facility has created over 300 jobs and is operated by British logistics firm and longstanding Ikea service provider, Wincanton.
James Wroath, CEO at Wincanton, added: “Wincanton is excited to play such a key role in the transformation and expansion of Ikea, who will benefit from our unrivalled expertise and proven operational excellence in eFulfilment. We are looking forward to further strengthening our partnership to achieve our shared goals of meeting Ikea’s customers’ needs quicker than ever before.”