Debenhams is to begin consultation on the closure of its central distribution centre at Lodge Farm near Northampton. It is also planning on closing ten smaller regional warehousing facilities.
Debenhams said that the decision to close the distribution centre, along with the smaller facilities, is due to “more efficient stock flows combined with the transition to a single warehouse management system.”
The closure of all 11 warehouses is expected to take place over the next three years. During this time, the retailer will be continuing with an automation programme and moving to a new mobile platform to unify channels.
The company is also looking at closing a further ten UK stores over the next five years if they do not meet its return objectives.
“Our customers are changing the way they shop and we are changing too,” said Sergio Bucher, chief executive of Debenhams. “Shopping with Debenhams should be effortless, reliable and fun whichever channel our customers use.
“We will be a destination for “Social Shopping” with mobile the unifying platform for interacting with our customers.
“If we deliver differentiated and distinctive brands, services and experiences both online and in stores, our customers will visit us more frequently and, having simplified our operations to make us more efficient, we will be able to serve them better and make better use of our resources.”
Debenhams’ interim results showed a decrease in UK operating profit of 11.3 per cent. International operating profit increased by 12.3 per cent, while for the group it dropped by 5.7 per cent.