Tesco officially opens new Grocery Dotcom Centre in Erith, the sixth Tesco Dotcom facility to open in London in past seven years; facility uses industry-leading technology to improve availability, range of products for customers ordering groceries online

November 29, 2013 (press release) – Tesco staff and London Borough of Bexley members came together on Wednesday to officially open Tesco’s new Grocery Dotcom Centre in Erith. The facility, which uses industry leading technology to improve the availability and range of products for customers who order their groceries online, will deliver to homes in South East London and North West Kent.

The centre is the sixth dedicated Tesco Dotcom facility to open in London in the past seven years and completes a ring of facilities around the capital. Erith Dotcom employs around 550 people, many from the surrounding borough of Bexley.

To help tackle local unemployment, the retailer committed a significant number of positions to local people who had been out of work for more than six months. Tesco worked with the London Borough of Bexley’s Resources Plus service and Job Centre Plus to provide eight weeks of pre-employment training to support their return to work. 84 candidates completed the programme and have now joined the Erith team.

Erith is the first Regeneration Partnership programme in a Dotcom Centre, and follows similar schemes in nearly 60 traditional Tesco stores which have helped more than 6,000 people back to work.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “This is excellent news for London’s economy, not only creating 550 new jobs but also proactively helping many long-term unemployed people to get back into work. I would like to congratulate Tesco for joining forces with Bexley Council and Job Centre Plus on a scheme that will help to make our economy even more productive and successful.”

Simon Belsham, Managing Director for Grocery Home Shopping said: “We are really excited to be opening our new Erith Dotcom Centre. We’ve found that an increasing number of our customers are using tablet computers and smart phones to shop for groceries online, so this facility allows us to expand our reach and offer the best possible range and service. The Centre has created hundreds of new jobs for local people and we were delighted to run the first Regeneration Partnership programme for long term unemployed people in a Dotcom Centre here in Erith.”

Teresa Pearce, MP for Erith and Thamesmead said: “I am very impressed with the Dotcom Centre in Erith and I am pleased such a large company and well-known brand is expanding in my constituency. I would like to congratulate Tesco for this development and for providing opportunities for my constituents to find work at a time when it is scarce. I am sure that the Dotcom Centre will do very well, and I hope that it will continue to generate jobs for local people for many years to come.”

Councillor Linda Bailey, the Council’s Cabinet member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said: “The fact that Tesco have created so many jobs in the borough and put in so much investment is great news for Bexley. I would particularly like to thank them for joining with us for their first regeneration partnership programme for a home delivery centre, which has given valuable jobs to local people who have been out of work for some time. I wish them – and everyone else who works in the new centre – every success in their new jobs.”

Notes to editors:

The 550 jobs include personal shoppers, team managers, drivers and support personnel.
Other Dotcom Centres have opened in Croydon, Enfield, Crawley, Greenford and Aylesford.
The Erith facility follows the high-tech model launched recently in Crawley, featuring the latest technology and systems available to support Tesco’s home grocery delivery business.
The centre can stock 30,000 different products and includes a new stock management system.

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