IKEA UK has opened a 452,000 sq ft distribution centre in Dartford, Kent, operated by Wincanton. As the popularity of online shopping continues to grow, the new multi-million-pound facility will hope to enable faster, more sustainable home deliveries to IKEA customers in London and the southeast of England.
Located at the former Littlebrook Power Station site near the Dartford Crossing and M25, the new distribution centre is placed on the border of London to deliver almost 1m orders annually – with many reaching customers within 24 hours of an order being placed. Today, almost every second IKEA purchase in London takes place online. The launch of the new distribution centre will also result in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, being closer to customers.
By 2025, IKEA aims to have 100% of its customer orders in London will also be delivered by electric vehicles. To enable this, IKEA will install 28 rapid HGV chargers at the distribution centre, to power up HGVs while loading and unloading IKEA goods in under an hour. Additionally, 60 overnight chargers are set to be installed.
Investment in the new distribution centre is the latest milestone in IKEA’s ongoing London expansion, through new city stores, the development of existing stores and new fulfilment and delivery capabilities – supporting ambitious plans to make shopping at IKEA in London more convenient and sustainable than before.
Jakob Bertilsson, County Customer Fulfilment Manager, IKEA UK, said: “In London, we are opening new IKEA stores, investing in our fulfilment network, and offering new services, to meet more people where they live, work and socialise. Establishing a distribution centre in the region is a hugely exciting and significant step in our investment in London, as well as a continuation in our omnichannel strategy to support customers in however they choose to shop with us.
With a storage capacity of 35,000 cu m, the distribution centre is capable of housing up to 9,000 different products, spanning across almost every product in the IKEA range. The launch of the facility has created over 300 jobs and is operated by British logistics firm and longstanding IKEA service provider, Wincanton.
James Wroath, CEO at Wincanton, added: “Wincanton is excited to play such a key role in the transformation and expansion of IKEA, who will benefit from our unrivalled expertise and proven operational excellence in eFulfilment. We are looking forward to further strengthening our partnership to achieve our shared goals of meeting IKEA’s customers’ needs quicker than ever before.”