Britain's Co-Operative Group has announced plans to open a new distribution centre, worth £45 million (€51.6 million), in Bedfordshire’s Symmetry Park, in Biggleswade.
The 661,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in 2022 and create around 1,200 jobs.
The retail CEO of Co-op, Jo Whitfield, said, “This is a vital step in our journey to get closer to our customers and their shopping needs by offering the products they want and care about from stores which are closer to where they live."
Co-op has secured a 20-year lease on the site, and construction is expected to commence towards the end of 2019.
It is expected to drive the retailer's expansion plans in London, as well as in the south and south-east of England.
'Rebalancing Of Volumes'
Co-op's supply chain and logistics director, Andy Perry, said, “The new site will form part of an integrated review and rebalancing of volumes across our network – it will provide greater scale while future-proofing our operations.
“The move will reduce road miles [and] overall supply chain costs, and supports our stores in the south by having more of our products closer to our members and customers, and the communities in which they live and work,” added Perry.
The new distribution centre will also implement a host of features to reduce its environmental impact.
These include low-energy lighting and refrigeration, rainwater harvesting, and working towards acquiring a BREEAM Excellent rating, which is based on an independent assessment of a building’s environmental, social, and economic sustainability performance.
In August of this year, Co-op opened its £6 million distribution centre in Inverness Airport Business Park (IABP).
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.