Food business’ new national distribution centre will open in Milton Keynes in September creating 360 jobs
As part of its Never the Same again programme, Marks & Spencer (M&S) 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.
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Notes to Editors:
Never the Same Again:
- The aim of M&S’ transformation is to restore M&S to sustainable profitable growth, and this has not changed. At its Prelims results in May, M&S set out its Never the Same Again Programme—designed to use the lessons of the Covid-19 crisis and radically accelerate the pace and ambition of its transformation plan.
- The aftershocks of the crisis will endure for the next year and beyond and whilst some consumer habits will return to normal, other have been changed forever. The trend towards digital has been accelerated and changes to the shape of the high street have been brought forward. Through the crisis M&S learned valuable lessons; operating as a faster more efficient and more digitally focused business and responded with pace and agility to meet changing customer needs.
- Under its Never the Same Again programme, M&S is determined to make these positives permanent and accelerate the parts of its transformation to drive the opportunities in a changed consumer landscape and ensure M&S is changing for good.
- M&S will never be the same again in how it works and operates; with a leaner, stronger leadership, faster more flexible ways of working, a stronger digital connection between the centre and frontline.
- And is focused on its accelerated transformation priorities.
1: Accelerating food growth through Ocado
2: Unlocking value through our food supply chain
3: Accelerating everyday style and value
4: Turbocharging growth through M&S.com
5: Creating a store estate for the new world