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  1. ITV Report

2000 jobs at risk as Shop Direct closes three North West sites

Photo: Shop Direct, YouTube

Online retailer Shop Direct is to close three sites in Greater Manchester, impacting nearly 2,000 jobs.

The online retail giant announced the move as it revealed plans to create a new distribution centre in the East Midlands.

It said that, following an 18-month review into three of its sites in the North West, the centres do not meet its "operational ambitions".

Redundancies are anticipated as a result of the site closures.

The Shaw, Little Hulton and Chadderton sites are to be closed. Credit: Dave Brown, ITV Granada

The group plans to begin exiting its sites in Chadderton, Shaw and Salford from mid 2020.

Derek Harding, the interim group CEO of Shop Direct, said they're announcing this now to give employees the best opportunity to prepare for the change.

This is a tough day for the business and we know how difficult this news will be to hear for our teams in Shaw, Little Hulton and Raven. However, these proposals are necessary for our future and to enable us to continue to grow and meet rising customer expectations.

We take very seriously our responsibilities to our colleagues, many of whom have been with us for along time and who work tirelessly to deliver for our customers.

– Derek Harding, interim group CEO of Shop Direct
Shop Direct depot in Shaw. Credit: Dave Brown, ITV Granada

The move is expected to impact:

1177
permanent Shop Direct colleagues
815
agency colleagues

The company says it will work alongside Usdaw, the recognised trade union, and will listen carefully to what they have to say.

Shop Direct warehouse in Shaw. Credit: Dave Brown, ITV Granada

“Our members are understandably shocked and devastated by today’s announcement of the proposed closure and relocation of the Shop Direct sites. The company has been providing employment for families in the North West for decades and these sites have different generations of the same families working there.

The impact of closures will be huge on hundreds of families, local businesses and the local communities.

We are seeking an urgent meeting with the company to look at the business case for the proposed closures and we will look to mobilise the support of local MPs and councillors. The Union has officials onsite to provide help, advice and support at this very difficult time.

Today’s announcement is also a very sad day for the North West as Shop Direct was created from the merger of the iconic mail order and retail giants, Littlewoods and Great Universal Stores and these are the company’s last remaining fulfilment sites in the region."

– Mike Aylward, Usdaw Divisional Officer