Next Applies For 777,000 Sq Ft Warehouse In Wakefield

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Next Applies For 777,000 Sq Ft Warehouse In Wakefield

Next Applies For 777,000 Sq Ft Warehouse In Wakefield

 There could be a new warehouse measuring a considerable 777,000 square feet in West Yorkshire’s Wakefield if Next’s planning application is approved, which might see scaffolders in Leeds become very busy next year.

It asked Wakefield Council for permission to build the site in South Elmsall last week, and is waiting to hear from the local authority about whether it will be allowed to go ahead with its plans.

The £125 million warehouse would be located on Field Lane, which is just south of the company’s existing operations unit on Elmsall Way. However, the facility currently employs 3,000 members of staff and does not have the capacity for extension.

According to the planning application, reported the Yorkshire Post: “The ability to expand at South Elmsall will be key to ensuring that the existing operations remain central to Next’s distribution and logistics strategy in future, and will help to avoid the need to ‘re-focus’ existing activities and new investment to locations…outside Yorkshire.”

Retail Gazette also revealed that Next believes the new development would offer an “extension of the local purchasing, recruitment, skills development, career progression and community benefits already associated with the existing Next distribution operations in South Elmsall”.

It would also ensure “the future of Next’s existing operations in South Elmsall, and the substantial local employment and benefits to the local economy that this existing development provides”.

The retail giant’s proposed new site, which would be built on open farmland next to an industrial estate, would link to its current unit by a two-level bridge, with one level for staff use and the other solely for automated racking systems. There would also be 47 loading bays for HGVs and road infrastructure works.

It is thought the warehouse would create 1,100 new jobs, including vacancies in software engineering, warehouse operatives and management, and maintenance of advanced automated stock management and control systems.

The council might be inclined to approve the application, as Next states it would generate an estimated gross value added (GVA) of £46 million to the economy a year.

This distribution centre could be integral to the fashion retailer, as it continues to grow in popularity among the British public. Indeed, its financial highlights of 2018 revealed total sales had increased by 2.5 per cent over the year, with underlying continuing business reaching £4.2 billion in January 2019 compared with £4.1 billion the year before.

It also reported full price sales had risen by 3.1 per cent over the 12 months, with this improvement being driven by customers buying through its website. Indeed, its online full price sales had grown by 14.8 per cent between 2018 and 2019, while retail full price sales dropped by 7.3 per cent over the same period.

The statement revealed Next’s commitment to reinvest in the business, particularly with regards to improving its stores and opening new ones, as well as developing new warehouse sites. It spent £129 million on shops, warehousing and systems in 2018 to 2019, which is £25 million more than it spent the year before.

According to the report, it anticipates this expenditure to increase to £150 million by January 2020, with £85 million being spent on warehouses.