Marks & Spencer (M&S) has revealed plans to cease operations at its Coventry DC, which is owned and operated by partner DHL Supply Chain, from April.

An M&S spokesman told that the proposal is part of its supply chain transformation programme, which was launched in 2009 and aims to create a more flexible and cost effective distribution network by closing smaller warehouses and moving to a network of fewer, larger sites.

He said:“We’re working closely with our partner DHL on the future of the site. The proposal is not a reflection of the site’s performance or its employees, it has been made as part of our long-term supply chain transformation programme to deliver a more efficient M&S."

“We understand that it will be an unsettling time for those involved and we will do all we can to support."

A spokeswoman for DHL said: “DHL will now enter into a period of consultation both with the trade unions and individually with affected employees to discuss ways to minimise the impact. DHL is also actively seeking alternative employment opportunities within the organisation for those affected.”

Marks and Spencer teardrop

The retailer in 2014 dropped plans to develop a 900,000ft² DC at DP World London Gateway, originally set to open this year.

This followed the opening of a 900,000ft² DC in Castle Donington in 2013, where DHL carries out collection and delivery to high street stores. Earlier this month Motor Transport reported that disruption at the site “strongly impacted” the performance of its general merchandise division in Q3.