John Lewis plans to centralise some of its distribution operations, with plans to open another site in Milton Keynes and close four other sites.

The plan is part of John Lewis’s efforts to manage omnichannel growth.

The 638,000 sq ft warehouse will support its existing site at Magna Park, which opened in 2009. The adjacent Magna Park 2 will be fully operational in 2016.

It will also close two sites in Milton Keynes, one in Stevenage and one in Carlisle through. The moves will affect 239 staff at the Milton Keynes sites, eight staff from Stevenage and 37 staff from Carlisle. The retailer emphasised that all staff will be offered a role at the new site or other operations in Milton Keynes.

John Lewis said the distribution centre is a result of it recognising that consumer shopping habits are changing, and the new distribution centre will help ensure it continues to deliver a co-ordinated and convenient shopping experience.

The new distribution centre will be responsible for large furniture and electricals and home furnishings, while both Magna Parks, will be responsible for handling smaller products such as iPads and accessories and hanging garments respectively.

“As customers’ shopping habits evolve so too does our operational business model. The new distribution centre will enable us to better respond, react and fulfil omnichannel shopping experiences be it via phone, tablet, desktop or visiting a shop,” said operations director Dino Rocos.

“For the supply chain this means improving availability. Our new Milton Keynes distribution centre will complement our two Magna Park sites and provide us with the space to continue to build on the improvements we have made in providing better service to our shops and customers.”