Shop Direct rebuffs pleas to remain in Manchester and save 2000 jobs

Shop Direct’s relocation will go ahead, despite calls from local MPs and union officials to keep its Greater Manchester warehouses open.

The online retailer last week announced the shock closure of three of its warehouses in Shaw, Little Hulton and Raven, as it moves to consolidate its operations in a new site at East Midlands Gateway.

The decision will see 1992 jobs lost, comprising of 1177 permanent staff and 815 agency roles.

Shop Direct’s interim chief executive Derek Harding said the proposals were “necessary” for the future of the business, with many of the job roles being replaced by automation.

Since the announcement last Wednesday, Shop Direct has come under criticism for not alerting the local community sooner to the nature of their move, which will mean almost 2000 redundancies.

Salford City mayor Paul Dennett met with MPs and union officials this week to discuss the decision, and what can be done to secure the best possible support for the outgoing Shop Direct employees.

“Last week’s news of Shop Direct’s planned relocation and anticipated redundancies is a bombshell for hundreds of employees working in Shaw, Little Hulton and Chadderton. We can well imagine how devastated all 1992 employees must be feeling at this time,” they said in a joint statement.

“Regrettably, it quickly became apparent that Shop Direct have committed to their East Midlands site and their plan of a staged transition starting in two years’ time,” they added.

“Given that they appeared to have made their decision, the meeting then looked into getting the best possible support for the workforce, and securing a future for the sites affected.”

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