Shop Direct’s new East Midlands fulfillment centre closer to completion
Shop Direct has set the ball rolling on a number of major projects aimed at getting its new 850,000 sq ft fulfillment centre near Castle Donington, Leicestershire ready for opening.
Construction of the new state-of-the-art facility began in May last year, and the retailer has already completed external building works. The internal fit out and installation of technology is currently underway ahead of the Shop Direct taking possession early next year.
The new fulfilment centre at East Midlands Gateway will bring all aspects of distribution and returns for Shop Direct’s Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com retail brands under one roof for the first time.
Expected to be fully operational by 2021, Skygate will be served by a rail freight terminal at East Midlands Gateway, with close links to the M1 and East Midlands Airport. This strategic location will allow Shop Direct to change its cut-off time for next day delivery from 7pm to midnight, and open the door to the possibility of launching a same day delivery service in the future.
Shop Direct said it has begun recruiting for a number of technical roles and roles in the management of operations, shifts, teams, stock and inventory. 500 permanent colleagues are expected to be based at Skygate by March 2021, with an additional 200 to 300 agency colleagues joining during peak periods.
Phil Hackney, chief operating officer at Shop Direct, said: “The completion of Skygate’s external shell is a major milestone in the development of our new fulfilment centre and it’s exciting to see the plans we’ve talked about coming to life. The facility will ultimately play a key role in helping us meet the ever-changing needs of our four million customers and positioning ourselves for ongoing, sustainable growth in the future. Recruitment is moving along at pace, with some colleagues already based at Skygate, and we look forward to welcoming many more in the coming months.”
Shop Direct, which is set to change its name to The Very Group later this year, will begin closing its existing fulfilment sites in Greater Manchester from mid-2020. The three facilities employ nearly 1,180 permanent staff as well as 815 agency workers.
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