Tesco is planning to develop a dot.com fulfilment centre in Didcot, Oxfordshire.
The company has not indicated that is has a specific site in mind but rumours are rife that it could enter an agreement with a developer shortly for a site to be put forward to planners in the next month.
Tesco dot.com store employ up to 700 people and are usually between 1000,000 – 150,000 sq ft in size.
Tesco has five dot.com fulfilment centres round London with a sixth under construction in Erith. The supermarket retailer has plans to open dot.com fulfilment centres in Birmingham and Manchester.
A recent report into e-tailing by Jones Lang LaSalle estimates that European retailers will need up to 269.1 million sq ft of additional logistics space over the next five years.
Jones Lang LaSalle predicts around 32 million sq ft of specialised space will be needed for dedicated e-fulfilment centres, dealing solely with online demand. Another 236.8 million sq ft is needed for store replenishment, though retailers are increasingly moving to a fully integrated ‘omni-channel’ customer offer, whereby customers buy in-store, online or via mobiles and either have their purchases delivered to their home or pick up from stores or dedicated delivery centres.
‘While traditional retailing is still driving demand for retail infrastructure, the growth of online is fundamentally changing the size and shape of distribution centres and where they are located,’ said Paul Betts, head of EMEA Logistics & Industrial at Jones Lang LaSalle.