John Lewis opens Magna Park 2 and 3

Omnichannel e-tailing partnership John Lewis has opened two new national distribution centres at its Magna Park campus in Milton Keynes.

The two new centres are part of the company’s view on the changing e-commerce environment and have been set up to meet customer needs as well as being able to cope with more home deliveries.

In the last 10 years, John Lewis has seen the percentage of customer orders being delivered increase from 4% to 47%.

Magna Park 2 and 3 have cost £150 million and form part of a five year £500 million investment programme in its online systems and distribution network that will create what John Lewis has described as a “customer not channel” approach. The partnership spent £100m in its existing Magna Park site in 2009.

Magna Park 3 also houses a specialist training facility for training Partners in the skills to deliver and install items like wall mounted TVs, washing machines and flat packed furniture. It is also the national hub of the two man delivery network that is used for larger items such as sofas and white goods.

Magna Park 2 will combine orders for hanging and flat fashion as well as non fashion items in one parcel. This may include an iPad and a suit for example. The concept increases the convenience for the customer, and save John Lewis a lot of waste in terms of packaging and delivery miles. John Lewis estimate that this would create a reduction of 850,000 parcels a year and 190,000 less delivery miles.

The six level automated hanging system is capable of sorting and carrying 1.6m garments at any one time and will be responsible for the fulfilment of around 225,000 different products.

Magna Park as a whole will provide consolidated and more frequent deliveries to all 46 of its shops that will receive daily replenishment deliveries as well as Click & Collect orders.

Dino Rocos, operations director at John Lewis, said: “These new state-of-the-art-facilities are the latest piece in the John Lewis distribution jigsaw. Our customers expect John Lewis customer experience, not just in our shops, but at every stage of their purchase. This service-led distribution centre will ensure our Partners deliver the John Lewis magic direct to our customers’ homes.

“Not only will this also help customers receive their orders quicker and in fewer parcels, but fewer driving miles and less packaging will help reduce our operational emissions and waste.

“Our distribution operations are at the heart of our business and these advanced facilities enable us to adapt to the ever-evolving retail market. Customers want quick and convenient deliveries and fast replenishment of our shops, this investment puts us in a strong position for the years to come.”