Co-op to close depot

A MAJOR supermarket has confirmed it will close its depot in Portbury next year.

The Co-operative Group announced the decision in September 2010, following a strategic review of its distribution network after the Group’s acquisition of Somerfield in 2009.

The company is building a new �20million regional distribution centre at Avonmouth, employing 900 staff, and is due to open in September.

The distribution centre, at Royal Portbury Docks, will close its doors in April and it is hoped the 350 staff will move to the new centre, along with 340 staff from the Chelston depot, in Wellington, which will close in November this year

Co-operative Food’s head of logistics service Mark Leonard, said: “Work to get our new state-of-the-art distribution facility at Avonmouth up and running will start right away with a phased transfer of operations from the former depots.

“The move in no way reflects the hard work and commitment of the staff at the two sites, whose performance has been exemplary, and we are working closely with all our employees and partners, who are affected by our proposals, to offer support and advice.”

The new 435,750sqft facility will serve about 492 Co-operative food stores in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Wales areas, replacing several smaller depots in the region.

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It will also take on the operations currently run by supply chain Wincanton, based at Portbury, which closed last year.