M&S to close North West distribution centre with loss of 450 jobs

Marks & Spencer

High street giant Marks and Spencer has confirmed it is closing a distribution centre in Warrington with the loss of 450 jobs.

The news is the second major blow for the region in the space of less than a week.

Last week it was announced that Shop Direct is closing two warehouses in Oldham and another in Salford with the loss of 2,000 jobs.

The work is being moved to a new site in the East Midlands and the company has informed shocked union leaders and politicians the decision will not be reversed.

M&S has embarked on a five-year transformation programme which has already seen a number of stores closed.

The retailer announced in January that it is closing up to 14 stores with the potential loss of 468 jobs.

Its centre in Hardwick Grange currently handles clothing and home products for stores in the North West and Scotland.

The chain will close the centre in September and delivery firm DHL will take over the work.

A distribution centre in Bradford is also being automated which means it can handle more capacity.

M&S has already entered into a consultation period with the 450 people who work at the Warrington site.

Gordon Mowat, director of clothing & home supply chain logistics, said: “Closing Hardwick will help to remove some complexity from our network and speed up our supply chain.

“However, it was not a decision we took lightly and it is not in any way a reflection on the hard work and dedication provided by the teams on site.

“We will do all we can to support our partners through the consultation process.

“On our new site at Welham Green, DHL is the right partner for us.

“They delivered the best response to the tender, they have a strong track record at other M&S sites and are best placed in terms of costs and speed of operation to help us realise the benefits of our new distribution centre.”

DHL say they will recruit around 500 people to work at the new site in Hertfordshire.

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