Retail group The Co-operative is to build a new regional distribution centre (DC) in the north midlands, creating 900 new jobs but will also close two smaller depots in Nottingham and Alfreton, it was confirmed today.
In addition to this the retailer is to close three further depots at Halesowen, Peterborough and Thetford, which employ around 500 workers, as part of its major overhaul of its distribution network.
The Co-op hopes to redeploy as many of the affected staff members as possible and believes that once all of its new DCs are completed the overall net gain in jobs should be around 350.
Trevor Ashworth, The Co-op’s Director of Food Retail Supply Chain, said: “The Co-operative Group’s food business has grown significantly in recent years.
“We now have nearly 3,000 stores across the UK, and, including stores operated by other co-operative societies, we deliver to around 4,000, so it was important for our logistics operation to develop accordingly.”
Since the takeover of Somerfield in 2009 the group has opened regional DCs in Birtley in County Durham, Thurrock in Essex and most recently at Lea Green on Merseyside.
Plans have been submitted for a new DC at Avonmouth, near Bristol, while other new sites at Newhouse in Scotland and Andover in Hampshire are currently being built.
“The changes we have already made, along with those we are now planning, will ensure we can continue to provide an excellent service for all our stores and our customers, while at the same time allowing for further growth.
“At the end of this stage of the process we will have an efficient and modern logistics network that will reflect The Co-operative’s position as one of the UK’s ‘big five’ food retailers, and there will be a net gain of around 350 jobs.”
Along with investing in infrastructure in recent months, The Co-op has opened several new stores, signed a major advertising deal with ITV Weather and launched a new A999|multi-format advertising campaign.]