Shop Direct, a Liverpool based multi-brand online retailer, plans to open a new distribution centre in Leicestershire, creating 500 new jobs to boost the region’s economy. The news comes as the firm announces its plans to also close its three Manchester sites.
Established in 2015 as a merger of Littlewoods and Shop Direct Grou, Shop Direct had the annual sales of £1.93 billion, a 5.6% increase from the previous year. It currently owns two of the UK’s major online fashion retailers including Littlewoods.com, Very.co.uk, as well as Very Exclusive and Littlewoods Ireland.
Around 2,000 jobs are expected to be cut as a result of the closure of the three sites located in Raven, Little Hulton and Shaw from mid-2020 in Greater Manchester.
Shop Direct’s interim CEO, Derek Harding, commented:
“This is a tough day for the business and we know how difficult this news will be to hear for our teams in Shaw, Little Hulton and Raven. However, these proposals are necessary for our future and to enable us to continue to grow and meet rising customer expectations.”
The relocation of the Shop Direct sites to East Midlands Gateway in Leicestershire will, however, create in excess of 500 jobs. The company plans to open a 500,000 sq ft warehouse ready to be fully functional by 2021.
The news comes after Amazon’s potential move to the site.