Waitrose plans to transfer operations covered by a Kuehne + Nagel operated regional DC to its first national distribution centre (NDC).

The supermarket’s own-account operation hopes to move into a new DC in Milton Keynes next year, transferring operations currently covered at the nearby Kuehne + Nagel-run Celestia depot.

All K+N staff are expected to transfer to the new Waitrose site, which will be located at the Magna Park industrial park and is expected to open in summer 2015.

A K+N spokeswoman said: “As part of a review of their logistics needs, Waitrose will transfer the Celestia operation to a new national distribution centre, operated by Waitrose.

“TUPE is expected to apply and employees will have the opportunity to transfer and become partners in the John Lewis Partnership.

“Our relationship with Waitrose continues at a number of other distribution centre sites namely Theale in Berkshire and Brinklow in Milton Keynes.”

The NDC will deliver to its four regional DCs, including its Leyland DC which opened last year.  It will handle both store and online product lines, which were formerly transported between regional sites.

David Jones, Waitrose supply chain director said: “The decision to open our first national distribution centre marks a pivotal moment in our supply chain history and reflects our phenomenal growth. Waitrose has outperformed the market for five years and we have ambitious plans to open 38 shops in 2014 and expand our online platform.”

Earlier this week, Waitrose’s sister company John Lewis confirmed the opening of its own e-commerce DC on the same industrial park in Milton Keynes. The 670,000ft² DC has been built alongside another 650,000ft² John Lewis site and will be operational in spring 2015.

A spokesman for Waitrose confirmed that this is a separate development to its NDC.

Dino Rocos, operations director at John Lewis, said: “Magna Park Milton Keynes is our flagship UK distribution site and plays a key role in the development of our successful omni-channel distribution strategy.”

Waitrose recently added six dual-fuel trucks with aerodynamic trailers to its own-account fleet.