April 17, 2018 / 2:18 PM / in 8 months

M&S to close Hardwick distribution center, affecting 450 jobs

The logo of Marks & Spencer is seen in front of the store on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

(Reuters) - Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) said it would close its Hardwick distribution center in north-west England, where 450 contractors supply clothing and home products to its stores in the north west and Scotland.

The British retailer said the site would cease operations in September, with work transferring to other centers, including one in Bradford that it is automating. Its contractors XPO Logistics and DHL have started consultations with their Hardwick staff, it said.

M&S also said it had appointed DHL, owned by Deutsche Post AG (DPWGn.DE), to operate its new South East distribution center at Welham Green.

The center, which was announced in January, will open in 2019, M&S said, adding that DHL will recruit around 500 people to work at the site.

Reporting By Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru, Editing by Paul Sandle

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