Asda says it is revolutionising its distribution network with a £200m cash injection for new distribution facilities and changes to its recycling process.
Asda's distribution director David Gibbons said a one million sq ft national distribution centre in Lutterworth, due to open in summer, would be the hub of the network.
The depot is on three levels and holds 17,000 lines. New technologies such as "light-picking", where pickers are directed by hand-held computers and flashing lights, will be used. Pallets will be picked by cranes.
Each store's order will be marked with a single barcode that, when scanned at store, downloads the entire order within seconds.
Gibbons said a network of distribution spokes would be built around Lutterworth as Asda expanded.
So far, spokes include a 300,000 sq ft depot, which opened in Falkirk last week, and a newly converted ambient depot in Grangemouth, which opens in June.
A new 350,000 sq ft chilled distribution centre in Skelmersdale is due to open in October, with 500 jobs transferred from the Asda depot in Wigan. The new network and Wal-Mart technologies it uses allowed ranges to be delivered to stores more frequently, and the shelf life of products would be improved, said Gibbons.
Asda would also take cardboard and shrink-wrap waste processing out of all stores in the next 18 months to two years to minimise the impact of increases in landfill tax, said Gibbons.
Compact bales of waste will be processed at new Asda Service Centres ­ dedicated recycling sites ­ in Wigan and Wakefield.
Asda is cutting down on cardboard across its estate, and will wash reusable plastic product containers which it uses as an alternative at the centres.
"This year we will revolutionise our distribution network," Gibbons said.

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