Marks & Spencer is closing its Hardwick distribution centre, near Warrington, putting 450 jobs at risk.
M&S said it is closing the Hardwick DC, which handles clothing and home products across the north west and Scotland, in September.
It is operated by third-party logistics specialist XPO Logistics, with transport operations provided by DHL. Both XPO and DHL have now entered a period of consultation with the circa 450 staff who work at the site.
The retailer is in the process of automating its DC in Bradford which can now handle more capacity. Work from Hardwick will transfer to Bradford and other sites across the M&S network.
Additionally, M&S has appointed DHL to operate its new South East DC at Welham Green, following a competitive tender.
The site is currently being fitted out. DHL will operate the distribution centre and provide transport operations. It is set to open in 2019 and DHL will recruit around 500 staff to work at the site.
Gordon Mowat, director of clothing and home supply chain and logistics, said: “Closing Hardwick will help to remove some complexity from our network and speed up our supply chain. However, it was not a decision we took lightly and it is not in any way a reflection on the hard work and dedication provided by the teams on site. We will do all we can to support our partners through the consultation process.”
The moves are the latest in the M&S five-year transformation programme which includes creating a single-tier clothing and home logistics network.
M&S said the new single-tier network will enable it to move products from suppliers to stores faster and at lower cost. This will be achieved by moving to a smaller network of large DCs, strategically placed across the UK.
The M&S network currently comprises 18 sites including large DCs in Castle Donington, Bradford and Swindon. The previously announced closure of the M&S distribution centre in Neasden is due to be completed early next year.