Argos is planning to close its Magna Park site in Lutterworth and transfer most of the site’s operations to a Wincanton DC in Kettering.

The move will see up to 500 warehouse and distribution workers outsourced to Wincanton by December this year.

The plans are part of a wider restructuring at Argos following its acquisition last year by Sainsbury’s. In June  96 drivers - the last of Argos' in-house drivers – were transferred to Eddie Stobart, raising concerns it was part of wider plans to outsource the rest of Argos’ Magna park operations.

A Wincanton spokesman confirmed that Argos is proposing to move its Magna Park operations and staff to the operators' Kettering DC, adding that it would work closely with Argos “throughout the consultation process and commit to provide support to colleagues”.

“We have a long standing relationship with Argos that goes back over two decades. This announcement regarding the Magna Park warehouse complements our existing warehouse and transport operations for the retailer,” he said

An Argos spokeswoman said: “Our Magna Park DC is almost 25 years old and has reached capacity so we are proposing to transfer operations to nearby Kettering at the end of 2017.”

She added: “We will look to redeploy as many colleagues as possible with the majority of roles moving to the new site.”

Argos confirmed that the transfer from Magna Park does not affect its transport operations and is warehouse related only.

"The proposals do not affect transport in anyway so there is no impact to drivers," an Argos spokeswoman told MT.

Unite the Union, which represents around 400 workers at the site, condemned the move: “Serious questions need to be asked” on whether employees will be forced to transfer from Magna Park or be offered a redundancy package, if they are unable or unwilling to travel to the new site, which is 25 miles away.

Unite regional coordinating officer Paresh Patel added that the union had received “repeated reassurances from Argos last year that there were no plans to change any of the operations at the Magna Park site,” adding that the decision was “a slap in the face for a long-established and loyal workforce.”

Sainsbury’s has reported an increase in online sales in the 15 weeks to 7 January, with Argos online sales up by 13% in the period.