Published on 8 - June - 2010
1,031 jobs under threat following B&Q distribution shake-upDIY giant withdraws activity from seven distribution centres across the UK, as it announces plans for a new 796,649sq ft site in Swindon.
The move, announced today, follows a review of B&Q's distribution strategy, which, said the company, has lead to a number of proposed changes to its current logistics network.
As a result, B&Q will pull activity from its existing distribution centres in Preston Brook, Coventry, Chepstow, Swindon and Middleton - all of which are run by third party supplier partners, including DHL and Wincanton.
A total of 1,031 employees will be affected by the proposed changes, which are set to take place next year. Staff were been briefed today of B&Q's proposal to withdraw activity from the seven centres and a period of consultation will commence shortly.
B&Q said that it "will continue to work closely with its third party partners to ensure thorough consultation is completed with proper and fair arrangements made for all affected employees along with every option explored for minimising redundancies."
The retailer plans to open a new 796,649sq ft distribution centre in Swindon, creating 550 jobs for the local area - it is hoped that all 125 employees from B&Q's current Swindon site will transfer across to the new operation. A further 250 jobs are expected to be created at B&Q's distribution centre in Worksop.
B&Q has invested £77.4m in the new centre, which is expected to open next July and be fully operational by January 2012.
The DHL-operated centre in Preston Brook will be the worst affected, with 615 employees facing the axe. A spokesperson for DHL Supply Chain said: "Following B&Q's decision to open a distribution centre in Swindon, potentially affected employees at DHL's Preston Brook site have been informed of the situation and will shortly enter into a 90 day consultation process with the recognised Trade Union (USDAW) and workplace representatives.
"DHL will work with those affected, and in partnership with USDAW, to identify opportunities elsewhere within the DHL business. The local management team would like to sincerely thank the team at the Preston Brook site for their ongoing dedication during this difficult time."
The number of employees affected at each branch are:
· 615 - DHL, Preston Brook
· 157 - Wincanton, Coventry
· 125 - Wincanton, Swindon
· 75 - Kuehne & Nagel, Chepstow
· 30 - Wincanton, Middleton
· 24 - Kuehne & Nagel, Preston Brook
· 5 - Wincanton, Milton Keynes
B&Q added: "There will continue to be a requirement for a consolidation centre in the north west, the location of which is to be confirmed and details of this will be announced at a later date."
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