Northern supermarket chain Booths is pumping £14m into a state of the art warehouse at the Red Scar industrial estate, Preston, to drive supply chain efficiency and build a platform for continued growth. The new distribution centre will come online by early summer 2002, said chairman Edwin Booth: "This will significantly improve lead times, and reduce stockholding in store warehouses." Existing distribution facilities are struggling to meet growing demand, and the company has had to rent out additional warehouse space to cope, said Booth. The ambient section at the new site will be 35% larger than Booth's current facility at Queen's Street, Preston. A hi-tech fresh food depot and frozen food warehouse facility will be built in phase two. The site will also include processing and packing facilities for sausages and prepackaged meats. Booths is opening its 26th store in Settle, Yorkshire, next month. The 14,000 sq ft store will create 90 full and part time jobs. Business is booming, said Booth: "Our like for like sales growth this year has been 7.8% and we have several stores in the region of 20,000 sq ft on the drawing board." {{NEWS }}