British supermarket chain Waitrose has disclosed plans to close its Enfield Customer Fulfilment Centre in north London, a move that could jeopardise 500 jobs.  

The supermarket, part of the John Lewis Partnership, has initiated a consultation process regarding the potential shutdown of the facility, which commenced operations in 2020.  

The closure is proposed for summer 2024, with the company’s spokesperson stating that this is “not an option we’re exploring lightly.” 

The Enfield warehouse, instrumental in fulfilling online orders, was established amidst the surge in demand for online grocery shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

With the lease set to expire in early 2025, Waitrose faces increased rental costs and believes that its existing network capacity could accommodate the closure.  

The spokesperson emphasised that the proposal aims to preserve’s customer service standards and support future growth. 

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A Waitrose spokesperson was quoted by the BBC as saying: “While not an option we’re exploring lightly, the proposal would maintain our high levels of customer service for and support future growth.” 

The spokesperson further assured that the decision would only be made after a thorough consultation with the Enfield site’s staff.  

The consultation is expected to last a minimum of 12 weeks. The Enfield site employs 545 people. 

This development is part of broader cost-cutting measures within the John Lewis Partnership.  

In March 2024 the partnership’s chairwoman, Sharon White, informed reporters that while there is no explicit target for job reductions.  

White said: “Part of our refresh plan is that we are becoming simpler and more flexible.”  

In February 2024 Waitrose announced a significant £30m investment to reduce prices on hundreds of its own-brand products.