The Co-operative Group will open a new super DC in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire, and close three more depots during the next 18 months, affecting around 500 jobs, it announced this week.

The new DC will complete the overhaul of the society's food distribution network, which has been ongoing since 2007, and has involved the replacement of many, smaller DCs with larger, regional 'super DCs'.

The super DC will create 900 jobs, but the closure of the Thetford, Halesowen and Peterborough depots will affect 500 jobs. Workers at two further depots already earmarked for closure, in Alfreton and Nottingham, will be offered jobs at the new DC, which will be operational by 2012.

The Co-op Group already has super DCs in Birtley, Thurrock and Lea Green and is either building or has planning permission for DCs in Avonmouth, Newhouse and Andover.

"At the end of this process we will have an efficient logistics network that will reflect The Co-op's position as one of the UK's big five food retailers, and there will be a net gain of about 350 jobs," said Trevor Ashworth, director of food retail supply chain.

"The changes we have made, along with those we are planning, will ensure we continue to provide an excellent service, while allowing for further growth."