Debenhams picks Leeds for giant distribution centre

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Debenhams has signed a lease on a 667,000 sq ft warehouse at Sherburn Distribution Park just outside Leeds.

It will start the fit-out of the regional distribution centre immediately and expects to occupy the site June 2011. It expects to create 800 jobs at the site.

Evander Properties’ Sherburn Distribution Park is situated at J42 of the A1(M). Other major occupiers in the area include Eddie Stobart, Sainsburys and Kingspan.

Toby Vernon, senior director at CB Richard Ellis, said: “This significant letting signals positive news for the Yorkshire industrial property market and the regional economy. This is the third plus 400,000sq ft letting in the region this year, all of which have been to large retailers –Amazon at Vulcan in Doncaster and ASOS at Crossflow, Barnsley.

Debenhams has signed a 27 year lease at an undisclosed rent for the warehouse which incorporates 12,452 sq ft of office accommodation.

Debenhams has been investing heavily – particularly in relation to its multi-channel business. In its report for the year to August it said capital investment total £98.6m including new stores and store refits, maintenance, systems investment – particularly in relation to the multi-channel business – as well as the acquisition of Magasin du Nord.

It has also been working to manage stock levels tightly. Like-for-like stock densities were down 0.5 per cent despite the launch of new own bought brands. “Total stock in the business has increased by 9.0 per cent due to new store openings, the acquisition of Magasin and the expansion of the multi-channel business. At year end terminal stock was at a historically low level of 2.6 per cent.”

Evander Properties was jointly represented by CB Richard Ellis, DTZ and Moriarty & Co. Debenhams was unrepresented.

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