Tesco opens new online-only retail depot

Tesco has opened its fifth UK depot dedicated to fulfilling online orders, the company announced yesterday.

The new "high-tech" depot in Crawley, West Sussex, will create 700 jobs locally, Tesco claimed. The 700 new jobs include personal shoppers, team managers, drivers and support personnel.

The new site is Tesco’s fifth "dotcom store", after similar facilities at Greenford, Aylesford, Croyden, and Enfield.
Tesco said the new depot will increase the number of delivery slots available to customers and offer a wider range of products than before.

"This state of the art facility will increase our capacity in the area, enabling us to offer an excellent and convenient service to our customers," said Barney Burgess, Tesco’s chief operating officer for Grocery Home Shopping.

"Dotcom stores are an increasingly important part of our service for customers," said Burgess. "More and more customers are using their computers and smartphones to shop.

Products in the "dotcom" stores are laid out according to popularity with shoppers, rather than product type. When a customer in the catchment area makes an order, staff place the goods on a conveyors belt which carries them to the loading bay.

In March last year, shortly after the Enfield depot opened, customers complained of late deliveries and missing items. Tesco apologised, saying the new site had suffered ‘teething problems".

Tesco outsources maintenace and support of the warehouse automation technology in its dotcom stores to a Dutch company called Vanderlande Industries.

The company is the UK’s largest private sector employer, with over 290,000 staff. In March last year, it said that it planned to create 20,000 jobs in the UK over the next two years.

In September 2012, e-commerce giant Amazon.com announced plans to build a number of new fulfilment centres in the UK over the next two years, creating more than 2,000 jobs.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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