Sunday 23rd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Waitrose set to open Coulsdon DFC – and close Acton

Waitrose is to open its new 80,000 sq ft dot-com fulfilment centre in Coulsdon, south London on 3rd March.

But it is also proposing to close its existing dot-com fulfilment centre (DFC) in Acton in the Spring. It said this site would almost certain be the subject of a compulsory purchase order for HS2 in 2017.

The Acton site, which occupies 37,000 sq ft, was formerly used as a John Lewis warehouse and in 2011 was converted, providing additional capacity for orders in London.

In a statement, it said: “Waitrose is consulting partners about this now so they can take advantage of the job opportunities created by the opening of Coulsdon.”

Waitrose reckons that vacancies at Coulsdon, which is expected to employ 450 partners by the end of January 2016, together with vacancies in nearby branches, will create enough employment opportunities for all of those employed at Acton.

* Waitrose was one of the big Christmas winners with sales for the five weeks ending 3rd January, up seven per cent to £728 million on the equivalent period last year. Like-for-like sales increased by 2.8 per cent.

Online grocery sales through grew by 26.3 per cent, with wines, flowers and hampers showing a 39 per cent increase.

Managing director Mark Price said: “As a business owned by the people who work here, we can take the long-term view and our Christmas results show the effectiveness of our strategy of investing in good value, in making our shops attractive destinations and in building our online business.”