Marks & Spencer (M&S) it would open a new clothing and home ware logistics centre in 2019, as a part of the British retailer’s strategy to streamline its distribution network. M&S recently revised its strategy two months after industry expert Archie Norman joined as chairman, saying it needed changes to modernise their clothing and home ware supply chain to reduce costs and speed up operations.
The British retailer declared it would open a massive 4,95,000 sq. ft. mechanised clothing and home ware distribution centre at a former Tesco site in Hertfordshire, in Southern England. The centre which would serve 150 M&S stores, would be operated by a third-party logistics supplier and employ over 500 people. The move forms part of M&Ss strategy to create a “single-tier” clothing and home ware distribution network where products from suppliers go directly to warehouses and then straight to stores; this implies that the retailer only moves products once. With its existing system, M&S moves clothing more than once to reach stores.
As part the logistics shake-up, M&S said it would cease operations at its Neasden distribution centre in London. The company admitted that Neasden’s closure was not directly related to the Hertfordshire opening and Neasden’s work would be transferred to other sites in the brand’s network. The Neasden site is run by XPO Logistics with transport operations provided by DHL. Both companies have had discussions with the site’s 380 workers. M&S did not wish to disclose the cost of the project, however it admitted that capital expenditure for the entire year 2017-18 would be from 300 to 350 million pounds.