The 190,000 sq ft facility will mean the business is able to deliver to all its UK branches — almost 800 pharmacies — from the same depot for the first time.
It will replace a smaller distribution centre, previously operated by United Co-operatives, under the brand name Sants, before its merger with the Group last summer. The centre will be in the Meir Park area of Stoke-on-Trent. It is expected to open during the second half of 2009 and replaces the existing facility at Wolstanton, which is too small to service the network.
The new distribution centre at Meir Park will be around four times the size of the Sants depot and all Wolstanton staff, around 200 people, are being offered the option to transfer to the new facility.
John Nuttall, Managing Director of The Co-operative Pharmacy, told the News: “This underlines our continued commitment to expanding our healthcare business. It is important to us that as many of our existing staff as possible transfer to the new depot. We want to reatin their skills and knowledge and we’ll be keeping staff up to date with our plans as they develop.”