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M&S hit by glitches at distribution centre

Marks & Spencer has been hit by a series of IT glitches at its new warehouse, which could disrupt availability in stores.

The high street retailer has encountered a range of technical problems at its 900,000 sq ft distribution centre in Castle Donington in Leicestershire, according to Sky News. The warehouse, which opened in May, will eventually be used to fulfil all its online orders.

The issues are of such a size that some trading directors at the chain told Sky News they were concerned about letting their stock flow through the warehouse as they are worried availability could be disrupted in stores.

A spokesman from M&S said the retailer “never comments on rumour and speculation”.

He added: “We’ve said from day one that operations at Castle Donington will build over a long period of time to protect customer service. Nothing’s changed and it is early days on site as we follow the ramp up plan.”

The centre, which was the largest ecommerce hub in the UK when it was built, was heralded as “a key part of M&S’ strategy for the future”.

M&S’ chief executive Marc Bolland has however been under increasing pressure from shareholders to improve its performance after clothing sales across the business delivered a decline in like-for-like sales for the last eight quarters.

For autumn 13 M&S has revamped its range, with improvements to quality and a focus on fabrics. The chain also this week launched its autumn 13 campaign staring a host of inspirational women such as award-winning actress Helen Mirren, artist Tracey Emin and ballerina Darcey Bussell.

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