TJ Morris, the discounter that trades as Home Bargains, is to invest £70m in a new 1,013,150 sq ft distribution centre in Wiltshire as it looks to expand its presence in the south of England.
The facility at Solstice Park has the potential to support up to 400 new Home Bargains stores and will create 1,200 jobs, the company said. The site is expected to be fully operational by autumn 2015.
“Solstice Park is the ideal location as 98% of the South of England can be reached within a 4.5-hour HGV-drive time,” said Joe Morris, operations director at TJ Morris.
There are currently 290 Home Bargains stores nationwide and, with the majority based in northern England, Morris is determined to widen the firm’s UK offering.
“We have made no secret of our ambition to grow to 700 stores over the next five years and this is why this strategically based facility is so necessary,” he said. “The distribution centre will be among the most advanced in Western Europe, thanks to our in-house sophisticated electronic picking system.”
A 24,000 sq ft training centre for Home Bargains’ workers will be built adjacent to the distribution centre and is expected to train up to 170 people a year.
TJ Morris reported a 42% rise in full-year pre-tax profits to £84.2m for the year ending 30 June 2012.