The John Lewis partnership has announced that it will create another 500 jobs to help meet the growing growth in digital sales to its customers.
It has reached a deal with Tesco to lease a million square foot distribution center to Fenny Lock in Milton Keynes for 11 years, from which it plans to start operating in two years.
Located just four miles from its largest warehouse in Magna Park, which is double its size, the site will feature fashion, small home furnishings and tech items.
The news follows the company’s statement of around 4,000 job cuts in the face of the coronavirus slowdown, including 1,000 last month as part of a management reshuffle at its stores as it closes several stores and cancels his famous bonus.
Job creation: John Lewis partnership will create another 500 jobs in new warehouse
John Lewis has also confirmed another agreement to lease a 300,000 square foot logistics site in the village of Bardon in Leicestershire, which will be operated by Clipper Logistics and will be operational in time for the Black Friday shopping holiday plus late this year.
When both become operational, that will mean the owner of Waitrose has a total of 12 distribution centers across England, half of which are located in Milton Keynes and the rest in the Midlands.
Andrew Murphy, executive director of operations for the retailer, said the new Milton Keynes site “represents a fantastic opportunity to fuel the continued growth of Johnlewis.com, ensuring that we can keep pace with customer demand – at the same time. both for our products and for our wide range of execution and delivery options. ‘
He added that the site’s proximity to its Magna Park location would help it reduce the number of packages it creates by one million per year, reduce truck use and move closer to its goal of achieve net zero carbon by 2035.
The group intends to invest £ 50million this year in its website, app and virtual events and services and a total of £ 100million over five years for its online platform.
Store closures have meant online orders at John Lewis have grown from 40% to over 60% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pandemic boost: Compared to department store chain John Lewis, its Waitrose division hit record levels last year thanks to increased grocery sales
But nowhere did that make up for the massive loss in store purchases and high losses, including an annual loss of £ 517million last year, the first annual loss in its history.
British department store chains have been among the worst victims since the start of the pandemic. Debenhams fell under administration before being forced to close all of its remaining outlets.
By contrast, Waitrose’s profits hit record highs last year thanks to increased grocery sales and the supermarket’s decision not to return £ 85million in trade tariff relief and pay a staff bonus.
In an attempt to jumpstart the business, John Lewis has launched an “affordable” line called Anyday, which aims to appeal to a younger demographic, such as freshmen, first-time buyers and renters.
It also introduced its very first “Buy Now, Pay Later” offer in response to the increase in interest-free credit. President Sharon White said the partnership aims for 40% of its revenue to come from “non-commerce” by the end of the decade.
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