Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced its plans for a new equipment consolidation centre (ECC), which will also house a recycling and refurbishment.
The facility in Bradford, West Yorkshire, will operate seven days a week and will be bespoke to M&S, with the recycling and refurbishment element supporting the retailer’s entire UK store network.
Commercial construction and infrastructure company, Sigma, has won the contract to manage the 52,000 sq ft site, as well as run a transport solution for the retailer. Under the terms of the deal, Sigma will look after all of M&S’s goods not for resale (GNFR) requirements, including new store openings, renewals, small works, and roll-out activity.
The site is being developed acknowledging M&S’s plans to become more circular in its operations, and includes efficient fittings such as LED lighting. The ECC is also expected to help the retailer make its transport network more efficient, by reducing annual delivery mileage that can bring down overall transport costs and ultimately lower its eco impact.
Neil Stinson, head of store development & location planning in the property team at M&S, said: “We are pleased to be moving into this new purpose designed facility in the heart of Yorkshire.
“This significant investment in infrastructure will help support the delivery of our property transformation programme, enabling us to continue to serve our customers across the UK.”
Stuart Thomas, supply chain director at Sigma, commented: “This unique facility will not only provide an immediate and scalable consolidation solution that meets the needs of the M&S store development programme, but also create a circular economy for the retailer’s extensive GNFR stock, building the foundation for a more sustainable future.”
M&S announced an update to its Plan A sustainability strategy in 2021, with then CEO Steve Rowe saying it was important the retailer changed the way it managed its operations for the good of the planet.
“We need to transform how we make, move and sell our products to customers and fundamentally change the future shape of our business,” he said at the time.
“We must act now to rapidly cut our footprint.”
[Image credit: Sigma]