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John Lewis to open huge new distribution centre to support growing online business

The John Lewis Partnership is setting up a new one million square foot distribution centre in Milton Keynes in order to meet growing demand for online orders.

The company is investing £50m in the johnlewis.com platform, as well as the John Lewis app. Since the start of the pandemic, online sales have grown from 40 to over 60 per cent of John Lewis’s total sales, the retailer reported.

It is leasing this new warehouse at Fenny Lock from Tesco, with an 11-year agreement. It will become JL Partnership’s second largest distribution centre after its two million sq ft campus only four miles away.

The move will create 500 new jobs in the Milton Keynes area.

Andrew Murphy, Partner and Executive Director of Operations for the Partnership, said: “This one-of-a-kind distribution centre represents a fantastic opportunity to power the continued growth of Johnlewis.com, ensuring that we can keep pace with customer demand – both for our products and for our wide range of fulfilment and delivery options.

“We will invest in the site’s automation capability to support future growth. We plan to start operating during summer 2022.

“We will use the Fenny Lock site to fulfil customer orders for fashion, small home furnishing items and technology products. The proximity to our Magna Park campus will enable us to combine more customer orders, reducing both the number of packages we create by approximately one million per year, and the number of lorries on the road, helping us to meet our target of being net zero carbon by 2035.”

JL Partnership said over £100m is being spent on online growth over the course of its five-year strategy.

As well as its current 10 distribution sites across the UK to fulfil online and shop orders, the company has also just signed a three-year lease agreement for a 300k sq ft distribution centre at Bardon, Leicestershire in preparation for Black Friday this year!

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