High street fashion giant to close depot putting 780 jobs at risk after announcing wave of branch closures | The Sun

A HIGH street giant is set to shut one of its depots in a move that puts 780 jobs at risk.

Next is looking to close its warehouse at Toftshaw Lane in Bradford by next year.

The move is due to the fashion and homeware retailer aiming to expand its operation in South Elmsall, Wakefield.

Bosses said the decision "has not been easy" but is "necessary" to improve stock availability for online shopping.

The closure is set to take between the beginning of August and the end of September 2024, putting nearly 800 jobs at risk.

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers), says it has been called in for talks on the closure after management briefed staff.



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In a statement, the union said its priority is to secure the "best available deal" for workers and keep as many as possible employed within the business.

Next says that it anticipates there will be "sufficient" vacancies to relocate the Bradford employees.

But it added that it understands some employees will be unable to relocate and their role may become redundant.

The chain said that carrying out required repairs to the roof at the Bradford site wasn't cost-effective and the move to South Elmsall would cut the number of lorry journeys.

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It also said that bringing all its online operations under one roof will mean returns will be available earlier to customers.

Claire Hopkins, director of warehousing and distribution, said: "This has not been an easy decision, and we appreciate this announcement will be difficult for our team at Toftshaw as there are people across the site who have worked for us for many years.

"We would like to thank everyone in advance for their usual dedication and support as we work together over the following months to ensure as smooth a transition as possible, but also, so that everyone on site receives the relevant help and assistance in finding alternative employment either within or outside of Next."

It comes just two months after Next announced it was planning to close 11 high street stores.

The closures are set to take place before the end of the year, although no locations have been announced yet.

Six of them are taking place because Next expects the stores won't reach their target margins, it said.

Two of the closures are due to site redevelopments, while the remaining three are taking place because an agreement couldn't be reached with the site's landlord.

It comes after Next closed its store in Westfield Stratford City earlier this year.

News of the store shake-up came in Next's half-year results, published at the end of September.

It's not all bad news because the chain has also been opening stores and buying up familiar high street brands over the past few years.

It also announced that it has opened five new Clearance stores in the last year.

The fashion-giant also recently snapped up retailer Fatface for a whopping £115.2million.

Next's growing list of retail acquisitions and cement the group as one of the most prolific buyers of rival high street fashion chains.

Earlier this year, Cath Kidston was bought by Next after falling into administration.

The chain bought up the Made.com brand, domain names and intellectual property for £3.4 million after it was forced to appoint administrators back in November 2022.

It was announced last month, that Made will make a physical return to stores with a new concession in one of Next's stores which is set to launch in December.

Next started selling Gap clothing online in late 2021, after it took over the running of the high street brand.

It then started selling Gap clothing in stores in early 2022.

It also agreed a sale to buy struggling lingerie brand Victoria's Secret in a move that saved its UK shops and website.

Earlier in 2022, it took a stake in baby and maternity clothing retailer JoJo Maman Bebe.

Meanwhile, shoppers have slammed the "death of the high street" as a retailer with more than 400 locations gears up to close another store.

Plus, a pound store with more than 350 branches is to close another one of its stores for good.

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