is opening a new distribution centre in a move that it says will improve productivity, availability and customer service for both online and store customers. As many as 560 existing John Lewis staff could be affected by the move, which will see operations moved from their current home at Park Royal, London to the new site.
The department store chain has taken a 30-year lease on a 675,000 sq ft warehouse in Milton Keynes, next to its existing distribution centre. Some 450 jobs will be created at the new centre, while 200 new jobs will also be created at a smaller London delivery hub.
Dino Rocos, operations director at John Lewis, said: “We are constantly striving to improve the service that we offer to our customers. For the supply chain this means improving availability. Magna Park gives us the space we need and allows us to allows us to continue to build on the improvements we have made in providing better service to our shops and customers at a lower cost.”
'We recognise the high level of talent and valuable experience that currently exists within Park Royal and we hope that, if we proceed with the proposal to close Park Royal, as many partners as possible will be able to continue to contribute to the business in a new role.”
The new distribution centre will be automated, capable of issuing stock effectively in response to demand. John Lewis will also be able to fulfil more items direct to customers from its central distribution centres. That, the company said today, will improve customer service, “consolidating the company's position as a leading multichannel retailer.”