- 13 February 2020
- Transport / Logistics Services
As it works to improve its supply chain Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced it is to move to a national network of distribution centres next summer. As a result it is ending its contracts with XPO Logistics and DHL and those regional distribution centres (RDCs) are to close.
According to M&S, it needs to move faster to address longstanding issues in its clothing and home supply chain around issues of availability and flow of product.
Led by new supply chain officer Paul Babbs, the company is moving to a nationally connected network where goods will move direct from a national distribution centre to M&S stores. This will speed up and drive efficiencies into the supply chain.
Up until recently the omnichannel high street retailer used RDCs for supplying stores, and the stores were limited as to what they could stock according to supply from the RDCs.
Two RDCs are to shut – DHL run Long Eaton, Derbyshire and XPO Logistics Thorncliffe Park, Sheffield.
A spokesperson for DHL said: “As M&S transitions to a nationally connected supply chain network it is proposing to close its Long Eaton regional distribution centre in spring 2021, with the DHL-operated transport office relocating to M&S’ distribution centre at Castle Donington.
“Our affected warehouse staff have been informed and will shortly enter into consultation with the company and union representatives to discuss its implications and their options, including the possibility of redeploying to other DHL operations locally.
“M&S stresses the decision is part of wider plans to modernise its supply chain and in no way reflects on the high levels of service delivered by the team at Long Eaton over the years.
“We will continue to work in partnership with M&S at several of its nationally connected sites.”
An XPO spokesperson said: “Following a review of their operations, our customer has decided to withdraw its operations from the M&S Thorncliffe warehouse. We have entered into a consultation period with colleagues, the trade union and elected employee representatives to finalise the plans. We will work to support employees through this time.
As part of the transition to the NDC network, M&S said it would be investing in its six national distribution centres: Welham Green, Bradford, Stoke, Swindon, Thurrock and Castle Donington.