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B&Q getting ready to serve nation in style

With Easter, Bank Holidays and the Jubilee fast approaching, B&Q’s Swindon distribution centre is getting ready to serve the nation.

The centre’s 488 staff will be kept busy distributing barbecues, garden furniture, gazebos as well as a host of other seasonal products to help customers enjoy this summer’s festivities.

Since January the new distribution centre in G Park Swindon has been stocking up on products as the home improvement retailer looks to create a bigger and more efficient supply chain to its 358 stores across the UK.

The £70m pound investment project created the biggest building in Swindon as B&Q aims to improve customer service, cut carbon emissions and improve supply chain efficiencies.

The site is equipped with 140 pieces of mechanical handling equipment to help staff move over 320 containers of garden and outdoor living products through the site in just three weeks; products that will be on the shopping list for homeowners across the UK this summer.

As well as this over 160,000 garden chairs are predicted to move through the centre which is 10 times the amount that the previous distribution centre handled and by the end of the year the centre aims to have distributed over 23 million leisure products.

To staff the centre, B&Q, along with its partner DHL, issued just one local job advert which resulted in over 4,000 job applications for 288 new positions. B&Q also worked with the local job centre and college to put potential staff through pre-interview training to ensure they were fully prepared for the interview.

The retailer transferred 120 colleagues from the old B&Q distribution centre in Swindon and 15 staff from the Coventry and Chepstow centres. A further 50 staff who were made redundant from the DHL Morrisons site in Swindon were also given positions.

The new distribution centre is designed to keep carbon emissions to a minimum. The centre is investing in 50 Bio Methane tractor units this year and has also placed an initial order of 25 eco Mercedes vehicles following a successful trial. The retailer also plans to invest in a new gas filling station for vehicles, supplying Bio Methane produced from a local refuse tip. This means the retailer will be cutting down on its carbon emissions to create greener transport.

Rick Jones, director of logistics for B&Q said: “It’s great to see our years of planning for this new distribution centre finally live. In the run up to summer we will be busy as we receive and distribute products to ensure that customers across the UK get their garden must haves. We’re delighted to be such a big part of the Swindon community by creating jobs and fundraising for local charities, as well as helping the nation improve their homes.”

Source : Wiltshire Business

14 March 2012
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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