JD Sports expects its 850,000 sq ft distribution centre at Kingsway in Rochdale to be fully operational this summer.
The group invested £19.4 million in fitting out the warehouse in the last financial year, it said in its final results.
When operational, Kingsway will handle almost all the stock for the core UK sports and Fashion retail fascias. The company says this will improve service to retail and reduce transport time and costs.
Work started on the site in July 2010. the building is made up of a 616,000 sq ft DC with a 250,000 sq ft mezzanine.
The investment in the site is now largely complete and testing of the sortation equipment has been ongoing for several weeks, the retailer said. “We will start taking inbound deliveries into Kingsway from 23 April 2012 and anticipate that the full migration of activity will be complete by late June.”
Kingsway at Rochdale
Sales rose 20 per cent to £1.1bn for the year to 28th January, but the investment affected pre-tax profit which was down 14 per cent at £67.5m. Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “The Group is exceptionally well positioned with its retail proposition, financial resources and management experience to take advantage of any opportunities both in the UK and internationally.
“While the Board recognises that current expansion activity is likely to impact returns in the short term, it remains confident that the Group is being positioned to deliver longer term earnings growth and increasing shareholder returns.”