Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) is planning to shut its distribution centre in Warrington, putting 450 jobs at risk, the retailer has disclosed. The move is part of the FTSE 100 group’s ongoing transformation programme.
Marks & Spencer’s share price has slipped into the red in London this morning, having shed 0.49 percent to 279.61p as of 09:34 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and currently standing 0.77 percent higher at 7,281.63 points. The retailer’s shares have given up over a fifth of their value over the past year, as compared with a 1.6-percent gain in the Footsie.
M&S to close distribution centre
Marks & Spencer announced in a statement yesterday that its Hardwick distribution centre near Warrington would close, and has appointed logistics group DHL to run a new site at Welham Green in Hertfordshire. The Warrington centre is operated by XPO Logistics and DHL, which are in consultation with the 450 workers who work on site.
“Closing Hardwick will help to remove some complexity from our network and speed up our supply chain,” Gordon Mowat, Director of Clothing & Home Supply Chain & Logistics, commented in the statement.
Group’s transformation continues
M&S further explained that the closure marked the latest move in its five-year transformation programme, with the new single-tier network expected to enable the blue-chip retailer to move products from suppliers to stores faster and at lower cost.
The FTSE 100 group has been looking to rein in spending as part of chief executive Steve Rowe’s turnaround plan. Earlier this year, the company poached Steinhoff UK’s boss to head its Food division, which has recently suffered from declines in sales.