Digital retailer Shop Direct has announced that it will be closing three major warehouses across Manchester.
The move will impact 1,177 permanent Shop Direct staff and 815 agency staff. Redundancies are anticipated as a result of the site closures.
Shop Direct reviewed its fulfilment sites at Shaw, Little Hulton and Raven, Manchester, and concluded that limited accessibility, layout and loading restrictions, coupled with a lack of space meant that the centres did not meet the group’s future operational ambitions.
The firm has entered into consultation with Usdaw, a recognised trade union, and will also be consulting with staff representatives. The group said it will be working closely with affected employees to support them.
Derek Harding, interim group CEO, said: “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.
“We take very seriously our responsibilities to our colleagues, many of whom have been with us for a long time and who work tirelessly to deliver for our customers. We are working alongside Usdaw, our recognised trade union, and will listen carefully to what they have to say. We’ll also work closely with local authorities and community leaders to make sure this process is carried out as fairly and sensitively as possible for our colleagues.”
He added: “We’re announcing this now to give our colleagues the best possible opportunity to prepare for the change. Over the next two to three years, we’ll be partnering with local and national organisations to provide our colleagues with tailored advice and training, including career skills, access to financial planning and vocational courses to support re-training. It’s also our plan to offer apprenticeships in in-demand skills across our existing operational sites.
“Our priority is to provide a fair outcome for our team and we’ll do everything we can to support colleagues through this transition.”