Waitrose chooses XPO for warehousing and transport

Supermarket chain Waitrose – or Waitrose & Partners as it is now officially known – has announced a new tie-up with XPO Logistics.

The supply chain company will operate the grocer’s Magna Park national distribution centre and its Brinklow regional distribution site – two key hubs based in the midlands. XPO will be responsible for warehouse operations and transport at both sites, managing picking and dispatch of an estimated 93 million cases per year at Magna Park, and 50 million cases at Brinklow.

Magna Park has approximately 950,000 sq ft of ambient warehouse space, while Brinklow divides its 320,000 sq ft site between chilled, frozen and fast-moving ambient goods.

Mark Robinson, director for supply chain at the John Lewis Partnership, commented: “XPO brings exceptional expertise and experience in omnichannel distribution.

“We look forward to working with them to implement their plans for two sites that continue to play an integral role within our supply chain network.”

Gavin Williams, managing director for UK & Ireland supply chain at XPO, said: “We have developed a well-defined plan for driving efficiencies across multiple services, as we prepare to welcome more than 1,500 new colleagues in the summer.”

The John Lewis Partnership, in which Waitrose resides, started life under a new chair, this week – former Ofcom CEO, Sharon White, has taken over from long-serving Charlie Mayfield, at a time of significant change for the business.

Profits are down at department store chain division, John Lewis, with suggestions staff at the wider partnership – who typically share a percentage of the annual profit as part of the group's employee partnership model – will not be in line for their bonus this year.

Nina Bhatia, former managing director of smart home service provider, joined the partnership as executive director for strategy & commercial development, this week, as the group continues to ring the changes and build a new leadership team to help improve results. Waitrose and John Lewis are currently being unified, having run very separately until now.