The John Lewis Partnership has signed an agreement to lease a one million sq ft distribution centre from Tesco which will allow it to combine customer orders and reduce packages sent by a million parcels a year.
The company has leased the unit, at Fenny Lock in Milton Keynes, for 11 years. It will become the second largest distribution centre within the group, complementing the 2 million sq ft campus four miles away at Magna Park.
The John Lewis Partnership will invest in automation at the site to support future growth and will recruit 500 new staff over the next two years to work at the DC, which will become operational next summer.
Andrew Murphy, partner and executive director of operations for the Partnership said the site would help the retail group reduce its carbon footprint. “We will use the Fenny Lock site to fulfil customer orders for fashion, small home furnishing items and technology products. The proximity to our Magna Park campus will enable us to combine more customer orders, reducing both the number of packages we create by approximately one million per year, and the number of lorries on the road, helping us to meet our target of being net zero carbon by 2035.”
The company has also signed a three year lease agreement for a 300k sq ft distribution centre at Bardon, Leicestershire which will go live this month in time for Black Friday. It will be operated by Clipper Logistics on our behalf.
John Lewis currently uses ten distribution sites across the UK to fulfil online and shop orders: Magna Park sites 1, 2 and 3 in Milton Keynes; Blakelands in Milton Keynes; Brackmills in Northampton; Grange Park in Northampton; Corby in Northamptonshire; Redditch in Worcestershire;, the Waitrose National Distribution Centre in Milton Keynes, and an ancillary site in Northampton where it processes customer returns and technical repairs to reduce the number of items which get sent to landfill.
Since the start of the pandemic, online sales have grown from 40% to over 60% of John Lewis’s total sales.