Premium grocer Waitrose is to open its first ever national distribution centre (NDC) in Milton Keynes as it aims to build on recent success.
It confirmed it was in talks to transfer its operation from the nearby Celestia depot run by logistics company Kuehne + Nagel to the NDC for summer 2015.
The centre, which will be the size of twelve Premiership football pitches, will handle distribution of around 25,000 grocery and home department lines and will deliver the national lines via Waitrose’s four regional distribution centres.
“By simplifying our supply chain, we improve its resilience and greatly improve our ability to serve our branches now and in the future,” commented David Jones, Waitrose supply chain director.
Waitrose ended its contract with Kuehne + Nagel at its Bardon regional distribution centre in January as it scaled up plans to deliver 38 shops in 2014 and expand its online platform.
The grocer shrugged off pressure from discounters to grow its market share to its highest ever level of 5 per cent, according to Kantar.
The NBC will be developed by multi-national firm Gazeley.