Shop Direct has announced a deal to transfer the Raven Mill returns centre in Oldham, Greater Manchester and its returns activity managed from the site to logistics company Clipper Logistics, in a decision that could safeguard up to 200 jobs.
Clipper Logistics will operate returns on behalf of Shop Direct at the 215,000 sq ft Raven Mill site, until it transfers to the retailer’s new East Midlands fulfilment centre in 2021.
All 403 Shop Direct employees based at the Raven Mill site will transfer to Clipper Logistics under transfer of undertakings: protection of employment rules (TUPE).
Following completion of the migration of Shop Direct’s returns activity, Clipper Logistics said that it intends to retain up to 200 Raven Mill colleagues for separate ongoing operational activity at the site.
However, at least 200 staff based at the site are still likely to be made redundant following migration. Shop Direct stated these would be expected on a voluntary basis.
As part of this five-year agreement, Clipper Logistics will manage some specialist returns and pre-retail activity for Shop Direct from 2021 from its site in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.
Phil Hackney, group operations director at Shop Direct and co-chair of the joint taskforce, said: “We’re pleased to have come to an agreement with Clipper Logistics that has the potential to safeguard jobs in the area, with Raven Mill likely to operate as a commercial site beyond 2021. We believe it’s a positive move for our colleagues and the community. We’ll work closely with Clipper Logistics, our trade union Usdaw and colleague representatives to ensure the transfer is as smooth as possible.
“Our priority continues to be working in partnership with the joint taskforce to give affected colleagues across all our Greater Manchester fulfilment sites the training, development and other types of support they need to help them prepare for the future.”