M&S puts hundreds of jobs at risk with DC closures

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced changes to its supply chain will result in closures of its distribution centre operations at Thorncliffe near Sheffield, and Long Eaton, Derbyshire.

The sites are run by XPO and DHL respectively, and are set to close in 2021, putting 662 jobs at risk.

An M&S spokesperson said: “We’re in the early stages of changing our supply chain to address flow of product and availability for our customers.

“As part of this, we will no longer be serving our stores from our Thorncliffe and Long Eaton distribution centres.”

They added: “Moving the operations is not a decision we have taken lightly but it is an important change to help us best serve our customers as we move to a nationally connected network. Our logistics partners will be working closely with the colleagues at the sites on what is best for them.”

M&S’s senior management team continues to reshape operations, as the business looks to modernise and return to growth after several years defined by a sluggish general merchandise and clothing business holding back rising food sales.

Ed Leach, area organiser for Usdaw, a union, said of the Long Eaton plans: “This proposed closure has come as a shock and is devastating news for staff.

“Usdaw will now enter into meaningful consultations with the company where we will interrogate the business case and secure the best possible outcome for all affected.”

He added: “In the meantime we are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this very difficult time. If the worst happens and the closure goes ahead; Usdaw will do everything possible to find alternative employment for our members.”

M&S announced this week that its new chief financial officer will be Eoin Tonge, who will join the company in June from convenience food producer, Greencore Group. It is one of several senior appointments unveiled by the retailer over the last 12 months, as the business continues to attempt to drive sales growth, particularly in clothing, where annual sales have suffered in light of growing competition on the high street and online.