Rent-to-buy retailer Brighthouse is set to double the number of its local distribution and service centres in the next five years in conjunction with its rapid store expansion plans.
Some 220 supply chain jobs should be created as a result of the company’s growth strategy, with the south-west of England the next major focus area for the business.
CEO of the business Leo McKee told Retail Gazette that Brighthouse opens up in regional “clusters” and the next distribution centre will open in Exeter to serve stores in the city and nearby communities.
The site, which will employ delivery and warehouse staff, as well as locally-based engineers, is necessary to cater for the new Yeovil store which opened last week and other outlets due to arrive in Bridgend, Exeter, Weston-super-Mare and Plymouth in the coming months.
“In the next year to two years, the south of England and West Country will be the main areas for Brighthouse’s growth,” McKee explained.
“A number of stores will open around the M25 and the M4 corridor – we need distribution hubs to serve these regions.”
With the company opening 30 stores in the financial year to March 31st, McKee revealed that he does not want to open fewer than this number of outlets per annum in each of the next five years.
“We’ve got 232 stores, but we believe there is room for up to 650 in the UK,” he added.
“We are pushing on but there are significant areas of the country that we still need to populate.”
Such vast expansion will of course mean hundreds of new jobs being created in the UK, and McKee has recruited ex-British Gas Human Resources (HR) boss Nick Worrall as Director of HR to ensure staff at Brighthouse can benefit from various training and development programmes.
Worrall replaced Simon Bion, who retired due to ill health last year. Learning & Development Manager Ian Lloyd had been acting Head of HR but has now moved on to seek new opportunities.