Gigantic Warehouse Heralds New Era For MFI
The Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP will be in the former pit village of Thorne on Friday 7th December to officially open MFI’s new National Distribution Centre (NDC), the largest of its type built in the UK this year.
It occupies 750,000 square feet off Junction 6 of the M18, and holds up to 95,000 pallets of products, including the company’s sleek new kitchen and bedroom ranges which will launch in stores in time for Christmas.
The launch is a major milestone for MFI, the UK’s largest furniture retailer; it represents a £65 million investment, and by the end of the year, will have created close to 350 local jobs.
Speaking as he officially opened the NDC this morning, the Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP said:
"I am delighted to officially open the new National Distribution Centre, which has created several hundred local jobs and brought major investment to Thorne. The fact that MFI has chosen to serve its entire UK network from this base is proof of the area's excellent location and transport infrastructure.
"This facility is spectacular not only for its immense size, but also for its innovative technology, which will ultimately improve delivery to people."
Echoing Mr Miliband’s comments, chief operating officer of MFI Chris Pavlosky, who was born and brought up in Thorne, said:
"This is a first class location for us to serve our growing network. We were impressed by the size and quality of the building, infrastructure, landscaping and environment, as well as the strategic location of the site.
"By Christmas, it will hold our entire new product line, with a retail value of some £60 million."
MFI offers a greater number of kitchen and bedroom ranges than any other UK retailer, and operates the second biggest delivery service after Royal Mail, making over 50,000 deliveries per week and installing between 30-35,000 kitchens each year.
The NDC is at the heart of MFI’s rationalised supply chain, and is the first systemised warehouse in the company’s history, whereby all products are bar-coded and scanned into and out of the building. It has enabled a streamlined picking and packing process for warehouse staff, leading to improved delivery.
The NDC is the UK’s largest speculative shed letting, leased to MFI on a 10-year contract at a value of just over £3 million a year. There is scope for a further 230,000 square feet of distribution space at the site.
This has been matched by considerable investment in new product lines; by the end of the year, five new kitchen ranges and five new bedroom collections will have been added to the MFI product range.
AMAZING FACTS ABOUT MFI’S NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE:
- MFI’s National Distribution Centre at Thorne has 750,000 square feet of floor space. This is equivalent to eight-and-a-half football pitches. If filled to the brim with water it would hold over one billion litres, or 420 Olympic size swimming pools.
- There are 57km of pipework contained within the roof and the racks. Laid end-to-end it would travel the length of the M18.
- The weight of the pipework and racking is nearly 500 tons. This is the equivalent of 500 adult female African elephants.
- There are 2.6 million litres of water in the sprinkler tanks. This is enough to make over 10 million cups of tea or meet the UK’s hot drinks needs for one hour.
- The sprinkler pumps can fill a car fuel tank in 0.3 seconds or fill an Olympic 50-metre pool in one-and-a-half hours.
- The warehouse can hold 95,000 pallets with an estimated value of £30million.
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