The Range and DHL Supply Chain have opened a new £100 million state-of-the-art distribution centre in Avonmouth, Bristol, creating 1,000 new jobs in the region.
The distribution hub, designed to support the rapid expansion of The Range home retail brand, is one of the largest in the UK at 1.2m sq ft – 14½ times the size of Wembley stadium.
The Range is one of the fastest growing homeware retailers in the UK, with 140 stores around the UK, and 30 further stores scheduled to open in 2017.
The new distribution hub – delivered by Stoford Developments, will support on-going store growth and the expansion of The Range’s multi-channel operations, adding to the capabilities of its ecommerce distribution centre in the Midlands, also managed by DHL.
The new distribution centre will bring 1000 new jobs to the local area, across a diverse skills profile. The roles currently being recruited for range from shift managers and general administrators, to stock controllers and picking personnel. DHL and The Range have partnered to provide ongoing training to new recruits to ensure professional fulfilment and in turn boost performance, efficiency and accuracy amongst staff.
With a £100million investment from Plymouth based billionaire owner and founder of The Range, Chris Dawson, the Avonmouth site is set to be one of the most technologically sophisticated warehouses in the country. It will possess new materials handling equipment (MHE) technology, enabling The Range’s fleet of forklift trucks to operate with heightened caution in restricted spaces and areas of populated activity. With installed sniffer systems to detect any gaseous materials, the MHE technology will enhance health and safety on the site – one of the few examples of such technology in use in the UK.
By partnering with DHL, The Range hopes to leverage its scale and experience to not only deliver operational innovations and efficiencies, but to deliver continuous improvements to its e-commerce division and capabilities, diversifying how customers purchase products on the website and receive them nationally and globally.
Founder and owner of The Range, Chris Dawson said: “I am tremendously proud of everyone who has worked to get this exciting project ready on schedule. The Range has experienced remarkable success to date. This new, innovative distribution centre will allow us to expand to further locations around Europe while evolving our ecommerce division and providing an even better service in store and online to our local and global customers.
“Along with over 1,000 new jobs, this site will deliver long-term service contracts for local suppliers and inject millions of pounds into the Bristol economy every year, having already supported local firms during the construction.”
Birmingham based Stoford Developments was appointed as development partner and has delivered the £90 million regional distribution hub on time and on budget. The scheme is the largest Stoford has ever delivered. McLaren Construction was appointed to build the unit.
Tony Nash, director at Stoford, said: “The Range’s new distribution hub looks amazing and was one of our most exciting projects to date. Central Park, Bristol is an excellent location, with first class infrastructure including the nearby motorway, on site direct rail freight service and adjacent sea connections. We are delighted to have been able to deliver this facility for a highly respected occupier.”
John Boulter, MD UKI Retail, DHL Supply Chain, said: “We have worked closely with The Range over the last five years and are delighted to build on our relationship with the management of the Avonmouth distribution centre, the fifth site under DHL’s management.
“This distribution centre is set to substantially improve the logistics infrastructure and reduce transport mileage and carbon emissions by 30%. Accompanied by the new warehouse’s state-of-the-art technological capabilities and DHL’s experience and scale, The Range will have a strong foundation for its exciting expansion plans, and we look forward to supporting them every step of the way.”