As part of its Never the Same again programme, Marks & Spencer has today announced it will open a new national food distribution centre in Milton Keynes, expanding capacity to drive improvements for stores and customers, accelerate the modernisation of its end to end supply chain and create 360 new jobs in the local area.
Set to open and begin operating by September 2020, 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 regions and increase M&S Food’s ambient product capacity by up to 60% so customers can access a bigger, better range.
Unlocking value in its food supply chain is a key part of M&S Food’s transformation plan, and at its Full Year Results in May, M&S committed to resolve the longstanding issues in food availability and waste to drive greater improvements for customers.
M&S has already begun these improvements to its supply chain through the Vangarde programme, which aims to reduce waste and improve customer experience through improved shop keeping processes such as better forecasting, allocation and stock counts.
Implemented in 93 stores across the estate so far, the programme has resulted in more productive stores generating lower waste and higher sales through an improved customer experience, with colleagues now able to serve more customers than before. The programme is now being rolled out to all stores nationwide during this financial year.
The new Milton Keynes M&S Food distribution centre will add to the improvements Vangarde is delivering, by creating additional capacity for our growing ambient categories to offer customers a bigger, better range and ensuring they can do a full weekly shop at M&S Food.
This includes a broader range of cleaning and household ranges, greater choice on groceries including baking and scratch cook essentials and a wider range of soft drinks and wine. This will lead to a smoother flow of stock to stores, particularly at peak trading periods, improving availability for customers.
M&S Food MD Stuart Machin said, “Our new distribution centre is great news for Milton Keynes and a major step forward for M&S, unlocking the value of our food supply chain and supporting our future growth plans.
'Many of our customers’ shopping habits have changed over recent months and our new distribution centre 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 will shortly begin recruiting from the local area for the 360 new roles across warehouse and inventory operations.