UK department stores chain John Lewis has unveiled plans to shut down its Edinburgh distribution centre next month.

The closure of the Leith-based centre will result in the loss of 78 jobs and is expected to shift operations to its central distribution centre in Glasgow.

The distribution centre will cater to regional online orders and offer 40 new jobs.

"By consolidating work in our more modern facility in Lister St, it will enable us to run a more productive model."

A John Lewis spokeswoman was quoted by media sources as saying: “At the beginning of this year, we began discussions with partners at our Edinburgh distribution hub about the future of the site, and after a consultation, we have now confirmed that the site will be closing.

“Our site in Leith is no longer suitable to support our growing business, and by consolidating work in our more modern facility in Lister St, it will enable us to run a more productive model.

“We created an additional 40 new jobs at our Glasgow site as a result of this change, with the hope that a number of partners currently at our Leith site would apply for these roles or others elsewhere in our business.”

Last year, the retailer started trials of robotic process automation.

The company operates 48 John Lewis shops and johnlewis.com.