// Shop Direct completes external shell of new 850,000sq ft East Midlands fulfilment centre
// Construction began in May last year and is on track for completion by early 2020
// Recruitment is already underway for a number of roles, with 500 expected to be employed by 2021
Shop Direct has commenced the recruitment process for its new Skygate warehouse in the East Midlands, just as it confirmed it has finished building the external shell.
The online retailer’s Skygate complex is an 850,000sq ft fulfilment centre at East Midlands Gateway near Castle Donington, Leicestershire.
Construction began in May last year the internal fit out and installation of technology is currently underway ahead of Shop Direct taking possession early 2020.
The company said the facility would bring all aspects of distribution and returns for its Very and Littlewoods online retail sites under one roof for the first time and has “significant potential” for future expansion.
Shop Direct added that recruitment is already underway for a number of technical roles and roles in the management of operations, shifts, teams, stock and inventory, with 500 permanent colleagues to be based at Skygate by March 2021.
They will be supported by an additional 200 to 300 agency colleagues during peak periods.
With a rail freight terminal nearby, and close links to the M1 and East Midlands Airport, Shop Direct said the warehouse would allow for an extension to the cut-off time for next day delivery from 7pm to midnight and the potential for same day delivery in the future.
“The completion of Skygate’s external shell is a major milestone in the development of our new fulfilment centre and it’s exciting to see the plans we’ve talked about coming to life,” Shop Direct chief operating officer Phil Hackney said.
“The facility will ultimately play a key role in helping us meeting the ever-changing needs of our four million customers and positioning ourselves for ongoing, sustainable growth in the future.
“Recruitment is moving along at pace, with some colleagues already based at Skygate, and we look forward to welcoming many more in the coming months.”