Sainsbury’s logistics director Richard Fleming has said the retailer remains on track to open its new 1m sq ft non-food distribution centre in Daventry in the first half of next year.

The DC will create 900 jobs and allow the retailer to use rail freight for the first time, with one-third of the ­non-food lines being shipped into Felixstowe port for Sainsbury’s to be ­transported by rail directly to a station attached to the depot.

Fleming said JS had also been able to remove 700,000 road miles by outsourcing much of the distribution of its slow-moving ambient range from its depot in Stoke, which previously supplied half the country, to 12 regional haulage operators.