UK grocer Waitrose has announced plans for a new distribution centre (DC) in Chorley, Lancashire in support of its ambitious expansion plans into the north of England and Scotland.
Up to 600 jobs are set to be created by the new site, which will receive nearly £35 million of investment and provide the retailer resources to see through its plans of opening as many as 25 to 30 convenience stores and ten supermarkets across the UK each year.
At present Waitrose’s most northerly regional DC is located at Bardon in Leicestershire, and with this site already operating at capacity now is the right time to make further investment in its supply chain.
Work on the 360,000 sq ft warehouse, 50,000sq ft of office space and separate vehicle maintenance unit, situated on brownfield land, is still subject to planning permission.
Waitrose has reached an agreement with Evander Properties, which will see the property firm develop the new buildings with financial backing from British Airways Pension Fund, which will lease the site to the supermarket for 25 years.
David Jones, the grocer’s Supply Chain Director, said: “We’ve made no secret of our plans to take the Waitrose brand to more people in more places and we’re currently still under represented in the north, a key area for our growth ambitions.
“This new regional distribution centre will provide a vital platform for future expansion and unlock significant opportunities for us to open more shops in the north of England and Scotland.”
Earlier this week property agent King Sturge announced it has located three new locations for Waitrose to open convenience stores, as part of its brief to find sites of between 3,000 and 7,000 sq ft for the business.
The outlets are in Sutton Coldfield, Cardiff and Shrewsbury, with the former opening as a Waitrose c-store this morning.