Morrisons has announced plans to open a new distribution centre alongside its current manufacturing site in Bridgwater, Somerset.
The supermarket stated that it will be investing a "sizeable" amount of money to build and open the new 8,825 sq m site. The move is designed to support the expansion of its M local convenience business, which have been operating since 2011, but faces competition from well established local stores such as Tesco Metro, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.
Morrisons confirmed that the centre will help to create 50 jobs and the firm has also committed to modifying its existing Somerset base. In 2012, the company stated that its packaging distributing operations would be combined and once the modifications have been completed it is estimated that a further 400 jobs could be created.
It is much more positive news from the company which has been undergoing some tough trading conditions in recent weeks. In June, Morrisons announced a restructuring process that would see the cutting of 2,600 stores management jobs and affect 15,000 staff. A consultation process was put in place and was expected to see the reduction of employee numbers to cut costs.
Morrisons, along with other supermarkets, is facing increased competition from discount chains such as Aldi and Lidl. These grocery stores are becoming more and more popular with the public and has allowed them to rapidly expand as well as improving their stock options for customers. They have raised pressure on the more traditional supermarkets and prompted them to change their approach.
However, Morrisons' latest announcement does provide more positivity. Speaking about the new project, John Passman, head of multi-channel distribution and infrastructure, said: "It [the distribution centre] will also support Morrisons' convenience distribution centre in Feltham during busy periods.
"We already have picking and distribution expertise in Bridgwater, and it makes commercial sense to leverage that expertise to support the growth of our convenience business in the region."