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M&S opens £200M warehouse in Leicestershire

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Posted on 10/05/2013 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

Although Marks & Spencer already has 703 locations scattered throughout the UK, that’s not stopping the massive high street chain from expanding even further. M&S has revealed that an additional 300 employees will be hired to work at its new distribution facility in Castle Donington.

The massive warehouse opened in Leicestershire on Wednesday, May 8th, and currently employs 1,200 people. M&S’ new 900,000 sq ft facility cost £200 million to build. Currently, it’s one of the biggest distribution centres in the UK.

Castle Donington’s complex represents a move by the company to consolidate 110 smaller warehouses into four massive distribution sites. The concentration of distribution services will help streamline the company’s supply chain, cut shipping costs, and reduce reliance on full service vendors.

M&S chief finance officer, Alan Stewart, said: “We are transforming our supply chain operations to make them fit for the future of M&S as a leading international, multi-channel retailer. Our new supply network, alongside new systems and a best-in-class web platform, will create a more efficient M&S able to deliver our products to customers in the right place at the right time, whether they’re at home or on the high street.”

The facility will handle all online orders, and serve as the national distribution centre for M&S stores. Company executives estimate that the site will process as many as a million orders per day at peak times. To handle high order volumes, the centre is fully-automated. Hundreds more workers will be taken on to keep pace with high demand for M&S products. The high street chain is looking to hire individuals with disabilities, depression, or any other condition that might otherwise adversely affect their employability.

Located just off the M1, the distribution facility should have direct access to Britain’s motorway network, making shipments more efficient and timely. The site will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and use 50 delivery vehicles to keep things running smoothly.

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