Online retailer Shop Direct has announced that it will close three sites, putting almost 2,000 jobs at risk.
The group, which owns Littlewoods.com and Very.co.uk, said that it will close distribution centres in Greater Manchester in the coming years. Admitting that redundancies were ‘likely’, Shop Direct also announced plans to build a warehouse in the East Midlands which will employ 500 people.
Derek Harding, Shop Direct interim chief executive, said it was a ‘tough day for the business’. He added: "These proposals are necessary for our future and to enable us to continue to grow and meet rising customer expectations."
The centres will close from mid-2020 onwards and start operating in the East Midlands in 2021. The new site will be fully automated, putting the jobs of 1,177 Shop Direct employees and 815 agency workers in doubt.
Despite a recent slowdown on the High Street which recently saw Maplin enter into administration, online retail sales have been doing well. According to Shop Direct, its sales climbed 5.6 per cent last year to £1.93 billion.