Tesco is preparing for the Christmas rush with the opening of a 750,000 sq ft distribution centre dedicated to its ever-growing non-food division.
The site in Daventry will be Tesco’s biggest in the UK and is expected to be completed next month. It will measure 64 ft in height, with a 2,500-tonne steel shell, developed by construction specialist Caunton. It will have 97 docking stations.
A spokeswoman for Tesco said the Daventry DC would be essential in helping manage its growth in non-food. Rent for the space is estimated at £4.70 per sq ft, equating to £3.5m a year. Tesco has plans to double the amount of its globally sourced non-food products to £2bn within two years. Last month, it revealed it could now scale up operations in non-food due to an online hub that manages its database of global suppliers (The Grocer, September 10, p10).
At last month’s half-year results, chief executive Sir Terry Leahy indicated that handling all distribution of its own non-food offer for internet purchases would also be a key plank of its business plan going forward.
Tesco also opened a fresh food distribution centre in Peterborough this month.
Soft drinks group Britvic is planning a flotation on the stock market by the end of the year. Reports suggest that Britvic has appointed Citigroup and Deutsche Bank to assist with the float, which is expected to value the company at about £750m-£800m.

Midlands Co-op has recorded an increase in underlying sales of 3% to £365m and an increase in pre-tax profit of 11% to 316.5m for the half-year to August 6. All core businesses - retail, travel, funeral and property - contributed. Retail also showed a 3% rise in underlying profit, although like-for-like sales declined slightly.

Richmond Ice Cream is to invest £13.7m in refurbishing its Wigan site. The plan, which will include a 200-metre factory extension, is expected to boost production and employee numbers over three years.

Sales at Eighth Day, the vegetarian co-operative, have broken the £1m mark for the first time. The food store and restaurant on Oxford Road, Manchester, recorded sales of £1,195,831 for the year to August 31. Shop sales increased by 32% to £916,121.

Irish drinks company C&C Group has reported an increase in first-half pre-tax profits from E38m to E49.8m. C&C, which produces Magners cider, also revealed that its total cider sales increased by 28% to E144m during the period.

Six executives from Icelandic retail investor Baugur will face eight charges of fraud, Iceland’s Supreme Court has ruled. Four charges relate to customs fraud on car imports and four to the way loans were presented in annual accounts from 1998 to 2001. All six executives plead innocent.
Britvic to Float
Co-Op sales up
factory facelift
£1m for eighth day
C&C profits up
Baugur six Up for it