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Harrods look to move distribution centre to West Berkshire

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The luxury retailer plans to occupy a logistics centre in Gables Way, Thatcham, subject to planning permission

WORLD-FAMOUS store, Harrods, is looking to move its distribution centre to West Berkshire.

The luxury retailer plans to occupy a logistics centre on Mill Park in Gables Way, Thatcham, just off the A4 Bath Road near the Colthrop industrial area, which subject to planning approval by West Berkshire Council, would create local jobs in management, office, service, processing and driving functions.

The Knightsbridge store currently operates from a distribution centre in Osterley, West London, but it now aims to take over a 255,825 sq ft warehouse constructed by Gazeley UK Ltd by about mid 2012.

The distribution centre would provide about 220 jobs, which would see some staff transfer from the existing centre and the creation of some jobs for local people.

In a statement, Harrods said: “With its high quality build and convenient location for the M4, we believe the Thatcham site has the potential we have been looking for to ensure we meet our targets for sales growth and environmental demands for the next 25 years.

“With a total headcount of 221 employees we hope to create new jobs for the local Thatcham and Newbury community and to guarantee all Harrods staff a comfortable and modern working environment.

“Staff at our Osterley site have been kept fully aware of developments.”

Harrods add that only minor alterations would be made to the appearance of the unit under the plans submitted to West Berkshire Council, which includes creating additional windows and docking doors and the addition of a storage platform area inside the building.

Meanwhile, Harrods claims that with plans to operate a two shift system for transportation, there will be significantly fewer vehicle movements in the surrounding area than a company operating a standard three shifts across a 24 hour period.

The company adds that as it handles large scale, high value items rather than high volumes of lower cost goods, the site should see fewer deliveries than a more mainstream logistics operation.

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