Work has begun on a new Sainsbury’s DC in Daventry, which will be operated by DHL on the supermarket’s behalf.

The one million ft² DC will be used for its general merchandising operation, which includes cookware, homeware and domestic appliances, an area where the supermarket has seen rapid growth.

A spokesman said the site will be opened in two stages, with low bay operations opening first in “early 2015”. He did not specify when the high bay facilities, which will have the capacity to store 15,000 pallets of goods, will be fully operational.

Sainsbury’s logistics director, Richard Fleming, said: “The distribution centre represents a significant investment for Sainsbury’s.

"We are always looking at ways to serve our customers better and this depot will provide us with a central location to support our growing general merchandise business, which is growing at twice the rate of food.”

The DC, located at the Prologis Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT II) in Northamptonshire, will have access to both road and rail networks.

The site will also include LED light fittings, rainwater harvesting, and will recycle or “put to positive use” all its general waste, as part of the supermarket's sustainability targets.

Sainsbury's earlier this month unveiled plans to develop an online DC in Bromley.