450 jobs have been thrown into uncertainty as Marks & Spencer announces the closure of its distribution centre in Hardwick Grange near Warrington.
The site, which currently handles clothing and home distribution for the North West and Scotland is due to close in September, and operations will now move to other sites in the retailer’s network.
This comes as part of the retailer’s five-year transformation plan, in which it is seeking to reduce the number of distribution centres to larger, more automated and better placed sites.
Third-party logistics firms XPO and DHL, which currently run the distribution centre, are understood to have entered into a consultation period its hundreds of employees.
Earlier this year M&S revealed it was set to close its Neasden distribution centre placing 380 jobs at risk, as well as 14 stores across the UK risking a further 468 jobs as part of its turnaround plan.
Alongside news of the closures, M&S also announced that it will open a new distribution centre in Welham Green in 2019. It will be run by DHL who say they will recruit around 500 people to work at the site.
“Closing Hardwick will help to remove some complexity from our network and speed up our supply chain,” director of clothing and home supply chain and logistics Gordon Mowat said.
“However, it was not a decision we took lightly and it is not in any way a reflection on the hard work and dedication provided by the teams on site. We will do all we can to support our partners through the consultation process.
“On our new site at Welham Green, DHL is the right partner for us. They delivered the best response to the tender, they have a strong track record at other M&S sites and are best placed in terms of costs and speed of operation to help us realise the benefits of our new DC.”