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Waitrose Puts 545 Jobs At Risk With Warehouse Closure

Waitrose supermarket UK

Waitrose has announced plans to shut down its Enfield warehouse in the summer, putting 545 jobs on the line.

Laura Burbedge, the grocer's online director, said the move comes ahead of the lease expiration in 2025, with the anticipation of rising rental costs making the site less viable. 

Burbedge said: “With this in mind, regrettably we’re proposing to close Waitrose Enfield [customer fulfilment centre] on July 20 and move order volume into Waitrose Coulsdon and Greenford CFCs.

“This would support the Partnership Plan and save us £8.7m of operating costs, making the overall Waitrose online operations more profitable.”

This move is expected to save Waitrose £8.7 million in operating expenses, contributing to the profitability of its online operations.

The consultation process for affected employees is set to begin immediately, with an expected duration of at least 12 weeks. 

This announcement comes at a time when Waitrose forecasts a significant increase in London customer orders, projecting an additional 50,000 orders per week by 2030. 

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£8.7 million saving

A Waitrose spokesperson said: “With rental costs at Enfield due to increase and capacity elsewhere in our network, we are considering the closure of the site.

“While not an option we’re exploring lightly, the proposal would maintain our high levels of customer service for Waitrose.com and support future growth.

"It’s in no way a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our team.”

They added: “No decision will be made until we have fully consulted with all partners at our Enfield site who are being supported throughout the process.”

As part of the broader John Lewis Partnership's cost-reduction initiative, this closure aligns with efforts to achieve £900 million in productivity savings by the 2027/28 financial year. 

The partnership has already made significant strides, achieving £111 million in savings in the last fiscal year.

It contributes to a total of £420 million in savings since the plan's inception in January 2021. 

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