Multi-channel retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) is set to establish a new distribution centre at the new deep-sea container port and logistics park at London Gateway in South Essex.

Owned and operated by DP World and situated on the north bank of the River Thames, London Gateway is slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Subject to planning, M&S will begin construction of the new distribution centre in 2014.

The £200m project is expected to generate around 700 jobs, besides creating hundreds of jobs during the construction phase.

The planned 900,000ft² distribution centre will be used to store clothing, home and gifts before they are transported to the UK and international M&S stores.

The British multinational retailer intends to use the rail network being built at London Gateway, which will link to the rail terminal at the M&S distribution centre in Castle Donington.

M&S CEO Marc Bolland said that the distribution centre at London Gateway will reduce costs and position the retailer’s supply chain closer to its stores and international markets.

"It will also help us deliver against our Plan A objectives by removing road miles and emissions from our network," Bolland added.

DP World London Gateway CEO Simon Moore said: "By bringing ships carrying millions of products closer to the point of consumption we will help M&S to shorten its supply chain."

M&S has 766 UK stores and 420 international stores and nine dedicated international websites in over 50 territories in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.