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Co-op focuses on sustainability with £45 million UK depot

The Co-op is investing £45 million in a new UK depot that will help it support its growing network of food stores.

The distribution centre (DC) in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, measures 661,000 square feet and will allow the Co-op to serve the UK’s capital as well as its south and south-east regions.

Co-op expects to open the site in 2022, with construction commencing towards the end of next year.

The new site will include low energy lighting and refrigeration and the ability to harvest rainwater. It will aim to achieve an “excellent” rating in the independent sustainability performance assessment BREEAM.

Jo Whitfield, retail CEO, Co-op, said the site would be “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.”

Andy Perry, supply chain & logistics director, Co-op, 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.”

Perry said the site would help to rebalance volumes across the company’s network, offering greater scale and future-proofing.

“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 new site follows the August opening of a £6 million distribution centre in Inverness, Scotland.

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