The 100,000 sq ft site in Thornbury, Gloucestershire, has been configured to operate as its central turkey operation for all the pre-ordered birds that will be sold over the period. In addition to storing a range of turkeys, from organic to pre-stuffed, it will house
M&S’s stocks of geese, gammon, ham joints and salmon.
The new depot, the seventh M&S site to be opened and run by logistics company Gist, will be adapted next year to become fully operational across ambient and chilled, serving Wales and the south west of England.
The move comes after M&S extended its 35-year relationship with Gist last month until 2011. In the past year, it has improved efficiency for M&S by 11% and sliced 2.8 million miles off its delivery schedules by matching volume more closely to store needs and implementing new planning processes.
Meanwhile, M&S is rolling out a mobile shelf-edge labelling system to its 420 stores. The technology, supplied by Symbol Technologies and Zebra, will complement its e-ticketing system. In-store trials proved that creating ad hoc tickets on the new handheld mobile system took just seconds. The in-aisle printing replaces the manual process of reprinting tickets in the back office.