M&S to close Neasden warehouse and open new one in Welham Green

M&S warehouse

Marks & Spencer is set to cease operations at its Neasden distribution centre and open a new one in Welham Green by 2019.

The retailer said that while work at its Neasden warehouse in north London will be transferred to other sites in M&S’s network, the third-party operators of the site have placed 380 colleagues in consultation.

The new warehouse in Hertfordshire will also be operated by a third-party supplier, creating over 500 new jobs.

The Welham Green site will be 495,000sq ft and will act as a distribution centre for M&S’s embattled clothing and homes division, serving 150 stores in the south east.

It will be fitted out and tested this year and is expected to start operations early next year.

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

“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 changes are the latest in M&S’s journey to adopting a single-tier clothing and home distribution network.

The news comes after M&S recorded a mixed bag of results in its Christmas quarter with a slowdown in trading in its food halls and yet another steep decline in sales in its embattled clothing arm.

M&S has also been pushing on with its turnaround scheme after announcing alongside half-year results in November that it would accelerate plans to close under-performing clothing stores and slow expansion of its food arm in order to restore its fortunes.

This means M&S now aims to open 80 Simply Food shops this financial year, after previously aiming for 90 stores.

It also announced earlier last week that it would outsource more than half of its 430 IT roles under a technology overhaul that will save around £30 million a year.

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