Wincanton will operate Ikea's new 452,000 sq ft distribution centre in Dartford, Kent, providing faster, more sustainable home deliveries across London and the South East.

Located at the former Littlebrook Power Station site near the Dartford Crossing and M25, the new distribution centre will deliver almost one million orders annually – with many orders reaching customers within 24 hours of being placed.

The distribution centre has a storage capacity of 35,000 m3 – equal to over 77,000 flatpack Billy bookcases – and is capable of housing up to 9,000 different products, spanning across almost every product in the IKEA range. The facility is also expected to create over 300 jobs.

As part of plans for all of its customer orders in London to be delivered by electric vehicles by 2025, Ikea will install 28 rapid HGV chargers at the distribution centre, to power up HGVs while loading and unloading Ikea goods in under an hour. Sixty overnight chargers are also set to be installed.

Investment in the new distribution centre is the latest milestone in IKEA’s ongoing London expansion, through new city stores, the development of existing stores and new fulfilment and delivery capabilities.

James Wroath, Wincanton chief executive, said: “Wincanton is excited to play such a key role in the transformation and expansion of Ikea, who will benefit from our unrivalled expertise and proven operational excellence in e-fulfilment.

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"We are looking forward to further strengthening our partnership to achieve our shared goals of meeting Ikea’s customers’ needs quicker than ever before.” 

Jakob Bertilsson, Ikea UK county customer fulfilment manager, said: “In London, we are opening new Ikea stores, investing in our fulfilment network, and offering new services, to meet more people where they live, work and socialise.

"Establishing a distribution centre in the region is a hugely exciting and significant step in our investment in London, as well as a continuation in our omnichannel strategy to support customers in however they choose to shop with us.

“We want people to enjoy the Ikea experience, no matter where they choose to engage with us, whether visiting our stores, home planning, or online.

"The distribution centre will enable this, by increasing availability of our products and reducing lead times. It also builds on our ambitions for 100% zero emission ‘last mile’ deliveries for 2025, a critical component of our sustainability strategy.”