The John Lewis Partnership has signed an agreement with Tesco to lease a 1 million sq ft distribution centre at Fenny Lock in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
The move will help meet growing customer demand for online orders. Since the start of the pandemic, online sales have grown from 40 per cent to more than 60 per cent of John Lewis’s total sales.
The warehouse, leased for 11 years, will become the partnership’s second largest distribution centre after its 2 million sq ft campus just four miles away, at Magna Park.
Andrew Murphy, Partner and Executive Director of Operations for the Partnership 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, John Lewis is investing £50 million in johnlewis.com and the fast growing John Lewis app and creating more virtual services and events, with a further £100m+ to be committed to online growth over the course of its five-year strategy.
It has also signed a three year lease agreement for a 300k sqft distribution centre at Bardon, Leicestershire which it will start using this month in time for Black Friday this year. The site will be operated by Clipper Logistics.
John Lewis currently uses ten distribution sites across the UK to fulfill online and shop orders: Magna Park sites 1,2 and 3 in Milton Keynes, Blakelands in Milton Keynes, Brackmills in Northampton, Grange Park in Northampton, Corby in Northamptonshire, Redditch in Worcestershire, the Waitrose National Distribution Centre in Milton Keynes, and an ancillary site in Northampton where we process customer returns and technical repairs to reduce the number of items which get sent to landfill.