Marks & Spencer is to open a new clothing and home distribution centre next year as part of its efforts to improve its supply chain.

M&S will also cease operating from a centre in North London, where consultations have begun with 380 affected staff.

As part of its five-year transformation plan, M&S will open a new clothing and home distribution centre in Welham Green, Hertfordshire.

The 495,000 sq ft premises “will be transformed into a mechanised clothing distribution centre” serving 150 stores in the South East. The former Tesco site will be run by a third-party logistics supplier and employ about 500 people.

The Neasden centre is run by logistics company XPO and DHL.

M&S director of clothing and home supply chain and logistics Gordon Mowat said: “M&S is changing and we are transforming our stores and supply chain to better serve our customers.

‘More agile’

“The new site in Welham will deliver better service and availability for our customers and enable us to become a faster, more agile, lower cost retailer.

“The location has fantastic transport links and we’re looking forward to building a great operation in Hertfordshire.

“The decision to move operations from Neasden to other sites within our network is not one we have taken lightly, however it’s an important part of our transformation.”