AO opens its largest distribution centre, creating 120 jobs

Online electricals retailer AO has opened its largest distribution warehouse to date as it looks to support its rapid rate of growth that has been seen, particularly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 275,000 sq ft centre is located in Stoke-on-Trent, and is the third warehouse built in the past four months having recently acquired over half a million of new warehousing space across Cheshire and Staffordshire in the UK.

The new distribution centre will create 120 new jobs across a range of roles. In August, AO revealed it is planning to create 650 new roles across its business, and has launched a nationwide recruitment drive to fill the vacancies.

AO added that the new site will primarily be used for distribution to its 18 ‘local hub’ depots nationwide, although there are plans for it to include a delivery depot.

In a trading update published in August, the retailer said its UK revenue grew 58.9% to £401.3 million year-on-year in the four months ended 31 July 2020, with its business well placed to manage the customer shift to eCommerce during Covid-19.

Commenting on the new announcement, David Ashwell, MD of AO Logistics said: “Expanding our logistics network is a crucial step in our growth strategy, so we can continue to serve customers when they need us the most. We’ve really had to act quickly to adapt to an influx in customers following the Covid-19 lockdown. By actively securing more warehousing space and creating hundreds of new, quality jobs in the process, we’re working hard to invest in the future.

“As a business, we’re proud to provide both an essential service for customers and a safe working environment for our people, with social distancing in place. Our team have continued to adapt to necessary changes and they are taking the swift expansion in their stride. With our latest distribution sites in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford, we’ve now established a strong logistics hub in the North West.”