Work has begun to extend M&S’s Bradford distribution centre so it becomes a second online warehouse for M&S.com, with 300 new jobs to be created in the local community later this year.
M&S opened the carbon neutral Bradford Distribution Centre in 2010. It currently delivers both clothing and food to M&S stores in partnership with logistics experts XPO.
This new investment is utilising existing vacant space within the centre to create a new online warehouse for M&S.com, supporting the retailer’s Castle Donington online warehouse and in-store pick model.
The investment in Bradford follows a trial over Christmas where Bradford’s colleagues manually picked product from the existing automated distribution centre to service online orders – at its peak, the site was dispatching 14,000 items a day.
The build is now underway with the aim to be operational for Christmas 2021. The team will start with the target of dispatching 35,000 items a day, looking to increase capacity over time. Bradford will be an online warehouse for boxed products (from bras to belts) and the aim is for it to eventually support around 20% of M&S online orders.
Bradford was selected for this extension due to its location, its excess space and as it is M&S’s most automated distribution centre.
Stephen Langford, Director of M&S.com said: “We’re transforming our Clothing business to be more relevant, more often for our 22 million customers – however they choose to shop.
“Whilst it’s exciting our stores have reopened, growing our online business has never been more important and part of that is a behind the scenes network which means we can serve our customers as efficiently as possible.
“Building Bradford is a key way we’re setting ourselves up for a more digital future at M&S under the banner of MS2.”