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Littlewoods owner Shop Direct to shut three sites with nearly 2,000 job losses

The UK online retailer said it will replace the sites at Shaw, Little Hulton and Raven with a new warehouse in East Midlands Gateway

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Shop Direct said the new warehouse will employ around 500 people when it opens in 2020

Shop Direct, the owner of Littlewoods.com and Very.co.uk said it will close three of its distribution sites in Greater Manchester, making nearly 2,000 employees redundant.

In a statement on its website, the group - the UK’s second largest pureplay digital retailer - said it will replace the sites at Shaw, Little Hulton and Raven with a new warehouse in East Midlands Gateway, putting the jobs of 1,177 employees and 815 agency workers at risk.

The company said the new warehouse will employ around 500 people when it opens in 2020, and this is expected to increase by an additional 200 to 300 agency colleagues during peak periods.

Derek Harding, interim chief executive of the company, commented: “This is a tough day for the business and we know how difficult this news will be to hear for our teams in Shaw, Little Hulton and Raven. However, these proposals are necessary for our future and to enable us to continue to grow and meet rising customer expectations."

Shop Direct is owned by billionaire twins David and Frederick Barclays, who also owns the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

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