Questions remain over future of M&S facility

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The future of Marks and Spencer’s cross dock hub and repricing facility at the DHL-run Hydepark distribution centre remains uncertain, despite assurances that M&S is committed to maintaining a supply chain base in Northern Ireland.

More than 130 jobs have been lost at the facility in recent months due to M&S’s supply chain transformation programme. And concerns have been raised over the future of the site after it was sold to the Henderson Group, which has said it is “exploring a range of options” concerning the future of its warehouse operation.

Responding to the story in last week’s Times about the sale of the Mallusk Road warehouse unit, a spokesperson for DHL confirmed that it has engaged with Hendersons to “explore options for utilising spare capacity on site.”

“In the meantime M&S has confirmed that it is committed to maintaining a cross dock and repricing facility in Northern Ireland as part of its investment in its supply chain infrastructure,” she commented.

Trade union Unite, which represents workers at the facility, has called for clarity over the firms’ plans for the warehouse, where around 120 people are still employed.

A spokesman for M&S stressed that the company is “absolutely committed to keeping a cross dock and repricing facility in Northern Ireland.” However, when asked if that would be at the Hydepark site, he said he “couldn’t speculate on what might happen in the future.”