Co-op confirms closure dates for distribution depots

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The Co-operative Group has confirmed that its distribution centre in Wellington, Somerset, is to close in November, followed by Portbury, Bristol, in April 2013.

It is investing £20m in a regional distribution centre at Avonmouth which is due to open in September.

The changes are the result of a strategic review which followed the acquisition of Somerfield in 2009.

The new 435,750 sq ft facility will serve around 492 Co-operative food stores in the Bristol, north Somerset and South Wales areas, and will replace several smaller depots in the region.

All the staff at Wellington will be offered the opportunity to transfer to the new site while employees at Portbury will transfer across under TUPE.

Mark Leonard, The Co-operative Food’s head of logistics service, said: “We are due to take delivery of our new state-of-the-art distribution facility at Avonmouth in September, and work to get the site up and running will start right away with a phased transfer of operations from the former depots.

“As previously announced, our new regional distribution centre will replace a number of existing smaller depots in the region, including Chelston and Portbury, and we hope as many staff as possible will transfer to Avonmouth.

Norbert Dentressangle will run the transport operation at Avonmouth, on behalf of The Co-operative Group. As well as Chelston, the new depot will also take on the operations currently run by Wincanton, at Portbury, and previously at Bridgwater in Somerset, which closed last year.

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