John Lewis is to relocate a key distribution centre from west London to Milton Keynes putting 560 staff under consultation.

The department store retailer is to close its Park Royal, west London distribution centre which employs 560 people. The staff will be put on a two year consultation period.

The 675,000 sq ft warehouse at Magna Park, Milton Keynes, which will create 450 jobs, will be located adjacent to John Lewis’ existing distribution centre, which opened in 2009. It will fulfill orders both from the retailer’s online business and to its 39 shops around the UK.

John Lewis said the move would allow improvements in productivity, availability and customer service as well as supporting its expansion plans.

The retailer will also open a smaller distribution centre in an unnamed location in west London that will create 200 jobs.

John Lewis operations director Dino Rocos said: “We are constantly striving to improve the service that we offer to our customers. For the supply chain this means improving availability. Magna Park gives us the space we need and allows us to continue to build on the improvements we have made in providing better service to our shops and customers at a lower cost.

“We recognise the high level of talent and valuable experience that currently exists within Park Royal and we hope that, if we proceed with the proposal to close Park Royal, as many partners as possible will be able to continue to contribute to the business in a new role.”