John Lewis has opened two new distribution centres costing £150m to bolster its omnichannel strategy and streamline fulfilment.

The department store retailer has opened two distribution centres at its 2.4 million sq ft Magna Park campus in Milton Keynes.

The new centres are part of a £500m five-year investment in its online systems and distribution network.

They are intended to bolster the retailer’s delivery service, following an increasing demand for internet shopping.

Last year, John Lewis reported a 21% year-on-year increase in online sales. The number of John Lewis customers ordering items for home delivery has grown from 4% to 47% in the past 10 years. 

The investment will enable branches to be replenished quickly, speed up the delivery process for John Lewis customers, and allow the retailer to consolidate fashion and non-fashion items into single deliveries. 

John Lewis operations director Dino Rocos said: “Not only will this help customers receive their orders quicker and in fewer parcels, but fewer driving miles and less packaging will help reduce our operational emissions and waste.”

The retailer predicts a reduction of 850,000 parcels a year and 190,000 less miles being covered by delivery vehicles, as well as the creation of 500 jobs.

Rocos added: “These new state-of-the-art facilities are the latest piece in the John Lewis distribution jigsaw. Our customers expect John Lewis customer experience not just in our shops, but at every stage of their purchase.

“Our distribution operations are at the heart of our business and these advanced facilities enable us to adapt to the ever-evolving retail market. This investment puts us in a strong position for the years to come.”