Morrisons is to open a 150,000 sq ft cross-dock distribution centre in Bury to support the growth of its M local store network in the north. It has awarded Wincanton a five-year contract to run the site, which could potentially serve more than 100 M local stores in the area.
It is the retailer’s second convenience distribution hub, following on from the opening of its site in Feltham, West London, in March, and will support the opening of the 62 sites acquired from Blockbuster, HMV and Jessops earlier this year.
Neal Austin, Morrisons group logistics and supply chain director, said: “This is a big year for M local as we expand at pace. The convenience market is a fantastic opportunity for us and, as we expand our store offering, we’ve got to make sure we have the infrastructure to support it.
“We have spoken at length about the importance of us developing a presence in London and the south east, which will be our initial focus, but it’s crucial to us that we also bring our great M local offering to our customers up here in our heartland as well.”
Morrisons M local at Rhyl in North Wales.
The announcement comes after last year’s launch of Morrisons’ first dedicated convenience distribution centre in London, where Wincanton also manages both transport and warehousing.
Development director at Morrisons, Jerome Saint-Marc, said: “The growing demand for our convenience offering meant it made perfect sense to replicate our success in London with a similar operation in the north.
“Wincanton has proved itself a trusted and experienced partner in the convenience market. Its team takes the lead when it comes to progressing new ideas and initiatives that add real value to our operations.”