Sainsbury’s this week opened a new 250,000 sq ft distribution centre in London to support the growth of its c-store business in the capital and across the South East.

The opening of the £30m Thameside DC has created 350 jobs initially but once fully operational will employ over 600 staff. It is Sainsbury’s second dedicated convenience depot and will support the 50 new c-stores stores it plans to have opened by the end of the year.

The DC will be operated by Wincanton and was officially opened by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. Wincanton will also be responsible for managing the logistics operation for the majority of the retailer’s c-stores across London.

“It’s a long-term commitment and a sign of their ambitious plans for growth,” said Clegg. “As well as the hundreds of jobs this depot creates, it supports the expansion of Sainsbury’s across the rest of the capital and the South East - securing greater opportunities for people across the area.”

The retailer said its 540 Sainsbury’s Locals generated sales of £1.5bn and sales were growing by 17% year-on-year. “This growth is good news for communities across London and the South East as we know that a new Sainsbury’s Local not only brings jobs but also increased footfall to an area,” said Sainsbury’s chief financial officer John Rogers.

The Thameside depot meets all of the retailer’s 20x20 sustainability targets. All general waste is recycled or turned into fuel. Other energy-saving measures include LED lighting in the chilled and frozen chambers, rainwater harvesting and car charging points.

In February, Morrisons opened a 100,000 sq ft DC in Feltham, South East London, which has the capacity to support around 100 c-stores while Waitrose is looking to open between 60 and 80 smaller format stores in London within five years.