john lewis daf

Retailer John Lewis has revealed that construction work on its £97m Milton Keynes DC, which is set to increase the number of store deliveries it makes, began last week.

The own-account operator signed a 30-year lease on the 668,000 ft² plot on the Magna Park industrial site earlier this year.

Its second Magna Park DC, located adjacent to the site it opened in 2009, is set to be fully operational in 2015 and will increase capacity to allow more deliveries from the DC directly to customers by using automation equipment.

Operations director Dino Rocos said: “Magna Park gives us the space we need and allows us to continue to build on the improvements we have made in providing better service to our shops and customers at a lower cost.”

A spokeswoman for the retailer declined to comment on whether it was seeking more sites in West London and Sussex, as media reports have suggested, but said it is “always considering potential customer delivery sites and [will] continue to keep the size and coverage of [its] distribution network under review.”

John Lewis currently holds an O-licence to operate 50 vehicles and 100 trailers out of Magna Park, as well as 85 vehicles across two more sites in Milton Keynes.