John Lewis acquires new distribution centre to support rapid online growth
The John Lewis Partnership has today announced it has signed an 11-year agreement with Tesco to lease a 1 million sq ft distribution centre at Fenny Lock in Milton Keynes, which will create 500 new jobs and fuel the retailer’s rapid online sales growth.
Since the start of the pandemic, online sales have grown from 40% to over 60% of John Lewis’s total sales, so the new centre will help to meet growing demand for online orders and also give John Lewis the ability to combine customer orders, reducing packages by approximately one million per year.
The new warehouse will become John Lewis’s second largest distribution centre, after its 2 million sq ft campus just four miles away at Magna Park in Milton Keynes.
Andrew Murphy, Executive Director of Operations at John Lewis, said: “This one-of-a-kind distribution centre represents a fantastic opportunity to power the continued growth of Johnlewis.com, ensuring that we can keep pace with customer demand - both for our products and for our wide range of fulfilment and delivery options.
“We will invest in the site’s automation capability to support future growth and, over the next two years, we will recruit 500 new partners to work at the distribution centre, which we plan to start operating during summer 2022.
“We will use the Fenny Lock site to fulfill customer orders for fashion, small home furnishing items and technology products. The proximity to our Magna Park campus will enable us to combine more customer orders, reducing both the number of packages we create by approximately one million per year, and the number of lorries on the road, helping us to meet our target of being net zero carbon by 2035.”
This year will see John Lewis invest £50m on its website and the fast growing John Lewis app, creating more virtual services and events, with a further £100m-plus to be committed to the retailer’s online growth over the course of its five-year strategy.
Additionally, John Lewis has signed a three-year lease agreement for a 300,000 sq ft distribution centre at Bardon, Leicestershire, which it will start using this month in time for Black Friday. The site will be operated by Clipper Logistics on John Lewis’s behalf.