British retailer Co-op is set to invest £45m to establish a new distribution centre in Bedfordshire, England.
Located at Symmetry Park, Biggleswade, the new centre will be spread across 661,000ft2 and will support the company’s business growth across London, the South and South East.
Co-op Retail CEO Jo Whitfield said: “This is a vital step in our journey to get closer to our customers’ and their shopping needs by offering the products they want and care about from stores which are closer to where they live.
“The new site will extend capacity across our logistics network. This will help stores to better serve communities and support our ambitious growth plans across London, the South and South East.
“This is an exciting development, we believe a strong Co-op can create stronger communities and the investment is indicative of both the performance of the Co-op and the delivery of our food strategy.”
In addition, Co-op has secured a 20-year lease on the site and will begin construction towards the end of 2019.
The facility is expected to open in early 2022 and create up to 1,200 jobs.
In a move to reduce environmental impact, the distribution centre will feature low energy lighting and refrigeration and the capacity to harvest rainwater.
Co-op supply chain and logistics director Andy Perry said: “The infrastructure and site selection will deliver greater agility, scale and efficiency improving service and availability at existing stores while building capacity to support our store investment programme and ambitions for continued growth.
“The new site will form part of an integrated review and rebalancing of volumes across our network it will provide greater scale while future-proofing our operations.
“The move will reduce road miles, overall supply chain costs and supports our stores in the South by having more of our products closer to our members and customers and the communities in which they live and work.”
The retailer also opened a new £6m distribution centre at Inverness Airport Business Park (IABP) in Dalcross, Scotland this August to serve its stores across the region.