Tesco has opened a new grocery dot-com centre in Erith, to serve online customers in South East London and North West Kent.
It is the sixth dedicated dot-com centre Tesco has opened in London in the past seven years, and will employ around 550 people.
Simon Belsham, managing director for grocery home shopping, said: “We’ve found that an increasing number of our customers are using tablet computers and smart phones to shop for groceries online, so this facility allows us to expand our reach and offer the best possible range and service.
“The centre has created hundreds of new jobs for local people and we were delighted to run the first Regeneration Partnership programme for long term unemployed people in a dot-com centre here in Erith.”
Tesco’s other dot-com centres are at Croydon, Enfield, Crawley, Greenford and Aylesford. The Erith facility follows the high-tech model launched recently in Crawley. It can stock 30,000 different products and includes a new stock management system.
Tesco said a significant number of jobs were given to local people who had been unemployed for six months or more, notably from the surrounding borough of Bexley, to help tackle local unemployment issues.
It teamed up with Bexley Council, and Job Centre Plus, to offer new members of staff an eight- week pre-employment training programme, in a bid to support their return to work.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “This is excellent news for London’s economy, not only creating new jobs but also proactively helping many long-term unemployed people to get back into work.
“I would like to congratulate Tesco for joining forces with Bexley Council and Job Centre Plus on a scheme that will help to make our economy even more productive and successful.”