The Co-operative Pharmacy has begun work on its new £15 million national distribution centre at the Meir Park site in Stoke.
Executives from the five key businesses involved in the project recently took part in a ceremony to dig the first sod at the 190,000 sq ft site which is due to open in the second half of 2009.
The new facility is four times larger than the existing warehouse in nearby Wolstanton and once operational will enable the company to deliver to its 800 UK branches from the same depot for the first time.
Knapp will be providing all internal logistics at the facility and will be installing an automated materials handling system, which will feature miniload AS/RS, A-frames, extensive conveyor systems and robotic palletising. It will be controlled by Knapp’s Klass-X system.
John Nuttall, managing director of The Co-operative Pharmacy, said: “This is a major investment and underlines our commitment not just to developing our business but also to the Stoke-on-Trent area.”
The other businesses involved are construction firm Goodrich, construction company Kier and the site’s owners Henry Boot.