Shop Direct will be transferring its Greater Manchester returns and fulfilment centre to Clipper Logistics, ahead of plans to shut three of its sites by 2020.

Shop Direct will be transferring its returns centre in Raven Mill, Oldham, to Clipper Logistics, a logistics solutions and e-fulfilment provider.

The online retailer was due to close the Raven Mill site in 2020 following the migration of operations to its new automated returns centre in Leicestershire.

Under the new agreement, 403 Shop Direct staff based in Oldham will transfer to Clipper Logistics, which will operate the returns on behalf of Shop Direct at Raven Mill.

After the migration is complete, Clipper Logistics intends to retain up to 200 Shop Direct staff for separate operational activity for its other retail clients.

At least 200 other staff are likely to be made redundant following completion of the migration process in 2021.

Shop Direct expects these redundancies to be achieved on a voluntary basis.

Shop Direct group operations director Phil Hackney said: “We’re pleased to have come to an agreement with Clipper Logistics that has the potential to safeguard jobs in the area, with Raven Mill likely to operate as a commercial site beyond 2021.

“We believe it’s a positive move for our colleagues and the community. We’ll work closely with Clipper Logistics, our trade union Usdaw and colleague representatives to ensure the transfer is as smooth as possible.”

Shop Direct plans to rebrand to The Very Group later this year.