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Shop Direct outsources returns management ahead of East Midlands move

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Shop Direct has outsourced its returns management business ahead of its move to a new fulfilment site in the East Midlands in 2021. 

The retailer, which operates the Very and Littlewoods retail brands, has signed a five-year contract with Clipper Logistics that will see 400 Shop Direct staff based at Raven Mill, near Oldham, Greater Manchester, transfer to Clipper employment from July 1.

The site had been scheduled to close in 2021, when Shop Direct is scheduled to move its fulfilment business to a new purpose-built and automated site near East Midlands airport. Now Clipper will run returns and pre-retail services from the site for Shop Direct until that date. 

After the transfer is completed, a number of Shop Direct specialist returns management staff will transfer to Clipper’s own returns site at Swandlincote, Derbyshire, where they will continue to run services for Shop Direct.  Raven Mill, meanwhile, will expand to offer returns and pre-retail services to a range of users, seven days a week.  

Shop Direct chief executive Henry Birch said: “We are pleased to partner with Clipper to deliver returns and pre-retail services from Raven Mill and, later, specialist services from its Swadlincote site. Clipper has a track record of delivering best in class fulfilment and returns for digital retailers. The agreement represents a positive outcome for our colleagues at Raven Mill.”

Steve Parkin, executive chairman of Clipper said: “This contract win is significant for Clipper, adding one of the UK’s leading pureplay digital retailers to our roster of best in class retail operators. It demonstrates Clipper’s unique ability in returns management across fashion, electronics and general merchandise. The Shop Direct brands have a distinct pedigree and are supported by a loyal customer base. We are looking forward to serving Shop Direct customers with our modern retail-focussed warehousing, e-fulfilment and returns logistics services.”

Very is ranked Top50 and Littlewoods Top100  in IRUK Top500 research.

Image: Fotolia

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