M&S to open new national food DC

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced it will open a new national food distribution centre (DC) in Milton Keynes, next month.

The new 365,000 sq ft facility will be operated by XPO Logistics and will supply ambient M&S Food products to the south of England and increase product capacity in that category by up to 60%.

During its full-year results announcement in May, the retailer said it was committed to resolve longstanding issues in food availability and waste to help improve its business, and the new facility is set to play a part in achieving that goal.

The company’s internal ‘Vangarde’ programme, which aims to reduce waste and improve customer experience through improved shop keeping processes such as better forecasting, allocation and stock counts, is already in place. But the new DC is expected to add to these improvements, which have been implemented in 93 stores to date and will be rolled out during this financial year.

The new site in Milton Keynes is expected to create around 360 jobs, and enable the retailer to become more of a weekly food shop destination by providing greater product range in stores. It will also arrive in time for the new partnership with Ocado, with M&S replacing Waitrose products at the online grocer as part of a major joint venture between the two businesses.

Additional cleaning and household ranges, more groceries including baking and “scratch cook essentials”, and a wider range of soft drinks and wine will be supplied once the new DC opens.

M&S Food managing director, Stuart Machin, said: “Many of our customers’ shopping habits have changed over recent months and our new DC will enable us to respond faster and more flexibly to customer demand, providing greater product availability and significantly improving the service we provide our customers.”
XPO Logistics plans to begin recruiting from the local area, and will be seeking roles across warehouse and inventory operations. 

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