TJ Morris, the discount retailer which trades as Home Bargains, is investing £70m in a regional distribution centre at Solstice Park near Amesbury in Wiltshire.
It has bought a 64 acre plot and work has started on the 1 million sq ft hub which will go live in September 2015.
“Solstice Park in central southern England is the ideal location for our new regional distribution centre; 98 per cent of the south of England can be reached within a 4.5-hour HGV drive time,” said Joe Morris, TJ Morris’ operations director.
“Our Home Bargains distribution centre will be among the most advanced in Western Europe, thanks to our sophisticated electronic picking system, with the technology developed in-house.”
Home Bargains currently has 300 stores and plans to open another 400 over the coming years.
“We make no secret of our ambition to grow to 700 stores over the next five years, which is why Home Bargains needs to be at Solstice Park,” said Morris.
“The strategic logistics location at Solstice Park will provide a vitally important distribution role for us as the centre of gravity for our new stores as Home Bargains moves further south.”
TJ Morris bought the freehold site from Clowes Developments (UK), part of the Derbyshire-based CWC Group, in a multi-million pound deal.
In the land deal, a 24,000 sq ft retail training facility for the company will also be built for 170 Home Bargains trainees annually.
TJ Morris, established 30 years ago by Tom Morris in Liverpool, currently has 300 stores, with 10,000 staff, and plans to expand to more than 700 stores within the next five years.
Target stores in Wiltshire include Amesbury, Salisbury, Devizes, Royal Wooton Bassett, Calne, Melksham, Chippenham and Warminster.
David Fahie, development director for Solstice Park, said: “With Solstice Park now firmly on the UK logistics map, these remaining 20 acres would be suited to owner occupiers requiring units between 20,000 sq ft to 150,000 sq ft and we are already working on a number of serious buy-to-build leads.”
“This is the largest freehold property deal to an owner occupier of its kind in central southern England for many years and should be celebrated by everyone who cares about UK plc,” said Steve Mitchell, director of Colliers International, Solstice Park’s agent.