Marks & Spencer creates 500 jobs in Welwyn Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 11:28 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:28 17 January 2018

The former Tesco Welham Green distribution centre.
Picture: Alex Lewis

The former Tesco Welham Green distribution centre. Picture: Alex Lewis

Archant

Marks & Spencer is opening a new distribution centre in Welwyn Hatfield, creating 500 jobs in the process.

The former Tesco Welham Green distribution centre.
Picture: Alex LewisThe former Tesco Welham Green distribution centre. Picture: Alex Lewis

The upmarket supermarket and homeware chain has today announced changes to its logistics network.

It will be opening its new 495,000 sq ft clothing and home distribution centre in Welham Green in 2019.

The new centre is part of its five-year transformation plan.

The existing 495,000 sq ft site will be transformed into a mechanised clothing distribution centre, serving 150 stores in the South East.

The former Tesco site will be operated by a third-party logistics supplier, employing over 500 people.

The former Tesco Welham Green distribution centre.
Picture: Alex LewisThe former Tesco Welham Green distribution centre. Picture: Alex Lewis

•MORE: Tesco proposes Welham Green distribution centre closure

Additionally, M&S will cease operations at its Neasden, North London, distribution centre and transfer the work to other sites in the M&S network.

Gordon Mowat, director of clothing and home supply chain and logistics, said: “M&S is changing and we are transforming our stores and supply chain to better serve our customers.

“The new site in Welham will deliver better service and availability for our customers and enable us to become a faster, more agile, lower cost retailer.

“The location has fantastic transport links and we’re looking forward to building a great operation in Hertfordshire.

“The decision to move operations from Neasden to other sites within our network is not one we have taken lightly, however it’s an important part of our transformation.”

The Welham Green centre will be fitted out and tested during 2018 and is expected to start operations early next year.

The site will incorporate 27,000 sq ft of office space.

The site in Neasden, is operated by third-party logistics specialist XPO Logistics with transport operations at the site provided by DHL.

Both XPO and DHL have now entered into a period of consultation with the 380 colleagues who work on site.

An M&S spokesman said: “The changes are the latest in M&S’ journey to adopting a single-tier clothing and home distribution network.

The network currently comprises of 19 distribution centres and warehouses, including large centres in Swindon, Castle Donington and Bradford.

In November last year, M&S set out a transformation programme for the business concentrating on ‘Restoring the Basics, Shaping the Future and Making M&S Special’.

Under this transformation programme, entitled Making M&S Special, M&S has to-date announced:

•A slowdown in the Simply Food store opening programme;

•An acceleration of the UK store estate programme;

•The sale and franchise of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau;

•The announcement of a new Technology Transformation Programme.

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