London - Marks & Spencer is set to open a new clothing and home distribution centre in Welham Green (Hertfordshire) early next year as part of its five-year transformation plan. The move will see operations at M&S current distribution centre in Neasden transferred to other sites within its logistics network.

The existing 495,000 square foot site at Welham Green will become a mechanized clothing distribution centre, serving 150 stores in the South East of the country. A former Tesco distribution site, the new centre will be operated by a third-party logistics supplier and employ more than 500 people. It will be fitted out and tested throughout 2018.

Following the opening of its new site in Pelham, M&S will cease its operations at its Neasden location in North London and transfer the work to other centres in its network. “M&S is changing and we are transforming our stores and supply chain to better serve our customers,” said Gordon Mowat, Director of Clothing & Home Supply Chain & Logistics in a statement.

“The new site in Welham will deliver better service and availability for our customers and enable us to become a faster, more agile, lower cost retailer. The location has fantastic transport links and we’re looking forward to building a great operation in Hertfordshire. The decision to move operations from Neasden to other sites within our network is not one we have taken lightly, however it’s an important part of our transformation.”

The new Pelham Green centre will also incorporate 27,000 square feet of office space. The site in Neasden, which is operated by third-party logistics specialist XPO Logistics and DHL, has entered into a period of consultation with the 380 employees who work on site. The move marks M&S latest changes to shifting to a single-tier clothing and home distribution network. The network currently consists of 19 distribution centres and warehouses, including centres in Swindon, Castle Donington and Bradford.