Supermarket Asda is consulting on closing its Enfield Home Shopping Centre with the loss of more than 260 jobs.
The grocer, ranked a Leading retailer in IRUK Top500 research, says the site is no longer needed following the opening of two new fully automated home shopping centres in London over the last 18 months. The two new sites, in Heston and Dartford, have created more than 700 new jobs and, says Asda, provide more capacity, better accuracy and faster fulfilment in order to better meet customer demand.
The Enfield site opened in 2010 and currently delivers online orders to 4,500 customers a week.
Simon Gregg, vice president of grocery home shopping at Asda said; “In a competitive retail market, where customers rightly expect great value and ease of service, we are always looking at how we can improve our operations to meet their expectations.
“Despite great efforts by our colleagues at Enfield, restrictions on the site mean we are not able to make the necessary further improvements to meet the speed of fulfilment and product ranges that our customers now expect. Therefore, we’ve entered a consultation process with colleagues on proposals to close the facility.
“Our current proposals involve expanding capacity in our Heston centre and discussing options for colleagues to take on roles in other neighbouring stores. Whilst conversations about change are never easy, we would always work to find new opportunities for impacted colleagues, with redundancy as a last resort.”
The news comes after the supermarket reported that its grocery home shopping business grew by 8.3% last quarter.
Union GMB London said it was disappointed to hear the news despite previous reassurances that no depots or stores would close, made at the time its proposed merger with Sainsbury’s was announced.
GMB regional organiser Keith Dixon said: "The proposal to close the Asda Enfield Home Shopping Centre is one that is likely to have a negative effect on our members and the local economy. Nathan Clarke – GMB national shop steward – and I have been present on site through today and have been inundated with concerns from members. GMB will be actively involved throughout the consultation in order to attempt to secure positions for our GMB members."
The news comes just a few months after Shop Direct announced that it was closing three fulfilment centres sites in Manchester, and replacing them with a better-placed and automated distribution centre in the Midlands.