Co-operative opens Avonmouth distribution centre

The Co-operative Group has opened its new £22m distribution centre in Avonmouth, although the site is not expected to become fully operational until May 2013.

The company said the 435,750sq ft site will employ 900 people and operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, serving almost 500 Co-operative food stores in the Bristol, north Somerset and south Wales area. It replaces several smaller depots in the region, with staff transferring over and 200 new jobs created.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, The Co-operative Food chief executive, Steve Murrells, said: “Our new composite distribution centre is a major investment, which will provide significant employment locally and will boost the local economy. Avonmouth is in the perfect location to serve our stores across the south west and south Wales, and is the latest major investment in our logistics network.

“The new depot is vital in ensuring our food stores throughout the region continue to give The Co-operative's customers the high level of product availability and service they expect and I am delighted to be opening this new depot.”

The Avonmouth site features eco-friendly technology, including rainwater harvesting and energy saving lighting.

Murrell said that the investment in the site was part of a “major overhaul” of The Co-operative’s logisitics network following its acquisition of Somerfield in 2009.