Costco is to open a new purpose-built distribution centre next year as the US-owned wholesaler expands its UK footprint.

UK MD Steve Pappas said Costco had outgrown its Lutterworth, Leicestershire, distribution centre and would move to a new site in Crick, Northamptonshire, about 10 miles away with a view to opening “sometime next year.”

The Crick site will be a cross-dock depot of about 377,000 sq ft, expandable to more than 500,000 sq ft, and is located on a 62-acre site. It was “ideal” because of its central location and proximity to the M1, Pappas said.

“Our investment in the new facility will support our cash & carry business as well as our growing e-commerce fulfilment needs well into the future,” he added.

The move comes as Costco is stepping up its UK activities more generally.

It opened its 26th UK depot in Hayes on 21 August, which had set a new record for pre-opening sign-ups and achieved the highest opening day sales in Costco UK’s history, Pappas said.

“Based on early results, it looks like this will be one of our best-performing branches.”

He added he expected its planned depot in Wembley to open “sometime before Christmas,” and Sunbury next summer.

Costco opened its first forecourt, in Liverpool, in June. Pappas would not commit to the number of forecourts that would follow Liverpool, but said: “We think this is a business where we can provide Costco members with meaningful savings and added convenience.

“We are monitoring results in Liverpool and considering additional locations where space and planning permit.”

He also said CostCo was seeing “good incremental sales increases” online, particularly in non-food. “I’m optimistic about the future of our e-commerce business.”