Hundreds of jobs at risk at Fenny Lock warehouse in Milton Keynes with shock closure of Tesco Direct.
Hundreds of jobs are at risk after Tesco’s surprise decision to close its clothing and homewares website Tesco Direct and its warehouse at Fenny Lock in Milton Keynes.
Staff were briefed this afternoon about the shutting down of the loss-making website which was the supermarket’s attempt to take on Amazon.
The closure of the Fenny Lock fulfilment centre, which handles all Tesco Direct orders, was immediately hailed by union officials as “devastating news” for staff.
The company admits around 500 jobs will be affected.
Usdaw National Officer Joanne McGuinness said: “Usdaw officials and senior reps will now enter into consultation talks with the company where we will look closely at the business case for the proposed closure. Our priorities will be to support, advise and represent our members through this difficult period, and to get the best possible deal for them.”
Tesco bosses say they carried out a comprehensive review of the online operation but could come up with no plan to save the business.
“This decision has been a very difficult one to make, but it is an essential step towards establishing a more sustainable non-food offer and growing our business for the future,” Tesco’s UK head Charles Wilson told national media..
He added: “We want to offer our customers the ability to buy groceries and non-food products in one place and that’s why we are focusing our investment into one online platform.”
Tesco Direct sells thousands of products ranging from toys, to clothing and electrical appliances. The company said the website had faces a number of significant challenges, including high costs for fulfilment and online marketing.
It will cease trading on 9 July.
The Fenny Lock development, which spans 650,000 square feet, was hailed by Tesco as its flagwhip warehouse when it opened.