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Harrods prepares for growth with new distribution centre

Luxury London department store Harrods has revealed its new distribution centre as part of its growth strategy.

The 345,000 sq ft state-of-the-art warehouse in Thatcham, Newbury is now the luxury retailer’s sole distribution centre. It closed its Osterley base in west London earlier this month.

Harrods group distribution and supply chain director Dawson Parker said: “The opening of Thatchem is a key part of Harrods growth strategy to prepare the supply chain for the future. The old warehouse was not capable of sustaining our growth.”

Parker said that the retailer was “recession-proof”.

The centre, which employs 180 people, will distribute all of Harrods stock to the Knightsbridge store, airport locations and ecommerce operation. Its location is close to key transport links such as the M3, M4 and A3 and Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

The complex has additional capacity for a 78,000 sq ft mezzanine level, which the retailer is expecting to utilise in the next five years.

Harrods chief executive Michael Ward said: “We’ve built this place to take us through the next 20 years.”

The distribution centre is fully automated and will enable the faster movement of goods with increased replenishment accuracy and frequency.

Parker said: “The thing that distinguishes us from the competition is that we always have product in stock. It’s very rare you’d find your size out of stock.”

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