JD Sports Fashion has signed a letter of intent with Clipper Logistics to provide the group with a range of logistics operations and services, including warehousing and efulfilment.
The announcement, revealed in the company’s latest results this week, is the result of both the increase in sales and the new operating procedures and social distancing measures in place within its warehouses to cope with the pandemic. The new services are planned to commence later in the year at which point the existing warehouse at Kingsway will switch its focus to the supply of product for physical stores, which the retail group says better suits the current automation equipment at the site.
JD also admitted it was incurring some duties and disruption from Customs checks on the transfer of goods from the UK into EU countries following Brexit but said it had been able to reduce its exposure to the adverse consequences of Brexit somewhat with the opening of an 80,000 sq ft warehouse in Belgium in Autumn 2020.
The site is fulfilling a large proportion of the company’s core ranges and fastest moving lines required for stores in Mainland Europe.
However Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports Fashion, said further capacity was required. “This site is functioning very well but it does not provide a solution for either online orders or product destined for the Republic of Ireland.”
As a result he said the group was currently fitting out a 65,000 sq ft warehouse near Dublin which will become operational in the second half of this year. “We also continue to review opportunities for a larger permanent facility in Europe which can process the volume required for stores and online orders in Mainland Europe, although it will likely be Autumn 2022 before an enlarged facility would be available for use.”