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John Lewis Partnership boosts distribution capacity

John Lewis will open its new distribution centre, Fenny Lock, this summer, increasing its online capacity as a result.

The retailer announced it was leasing the 1 million sq ft site in Milton Keynes from Tesco last year. It will be John Lewis’ second largest distribution centre after nearby Magna Park. The proximity will allow the retailer to combine more customer orders where needed.

Announcing its full-year results, the John Lewis Partnership said that John Lewis’ click and collect service had also expanded to meet demand during the year and is now available in more than 1,000 locations. It has invested £119 million in John Lewis stores, digital services and distribution capabilities this year.

At Waitrose the partnership said that total online sales have risen to 17%, up from 14% a year ago. Waitrose now has capacity for up to 280,000 Waitrose.com order a week, up nearly 20% on last year and boosted by a new distribution centre in Greenford.

It said its Deliveroo partnership, which is now available in more than 150 Waitrose stores, is frequently generating weekly sales of £1 million. Waitrose announced its trial of Deliveroo Hop, which offers delivery in as little as 10 minutes, last month. Waitrose has invested £72 million in digital services and distribution this year.

However, the group said that trading operating profit margins at Waitrose, down 11% for the year, were significantly diluted by inflationary pressures within supply chains, higher levels of absence due to Covid and higher fulfilment costs as a result of the increased levels of online trade.