Shop Direct transfers returns activity to Clipper Logistics
Clipper Logistics has agreed to operate returns for Shop Direct at the e-tailer’s Raven Mill site until 2021 in a deal that will save up to 200 jobs.
The 215,000 sq ft Raven Mill returns centre in Oldham, Greater Manchester, which currently employs over 403 people, was due to close by 2021 as the fashion group is opening a new automated 850,000 sq ft fulfilment centre at East Midlands Gateway near Castle Donington, Leicestershire.
All 403 staff will now transfer to Clipper Logistics, which will handle Shop Direct’s returns at the site until 2021. From this date onwards, the centre will be used by Clipper Logistics to manage operational activities for other retail clients. Up to 200 Raven Mill colleagues are expected to retain their jobs past 2021.
Clipper Logistics will continue to manage some specialist returns and pre-retail activity for Shop Direct from 2021 from its site in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.
“We’re pleased to have come to an agreement with Clipper Logistics that has the potential to safeguard jobs in the area, with Raven Mill likely to operate as a commercial site beyond 2021,” commented Phil Hackney, group operations director at Shop Direct.
“We believe it’s a positive move for our colleagues and the community. We’ll work closely with Clipper Logistics, our trade union Usdaw and colleague representatives to ensure the transfer is as smooth as possible.”
The fashion group behind e-commerce platforms including Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com is making big changes to position the business for future growth. The new state-of-the-art distribution and returns centre opening in Leicestershire in 2021 will bring all aspects of the group’s fulfilment operation under one roof, which means its existing fulfilment centres in Chadderton (Raven Mill), Shaw and Little Hulton will have to close.
Additionally, Shop Direct will rebrand to The Very Group later this year to better reflect its links with Very.co.uk, its largest and fastest growing retail brand.
In the year ended 30 June, Shop Direct made an Ebitda profit of £262.3 million on sales of £1.95 billion. New technology being installed at the new fulfilment centre will allow the company to process products, from order placement to ‘ready for dispatch’, in just 30 minutes.
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