The warehouse purchased by REL

The online retailer will create 120 jobs.

Online electricals retailer AO has opened its largest distribution warehouse to date as it looks to support its rapid rate of growth that has been seen, particularly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 275,000 sq ft centre is located in Stoke-on-Trent, and is the third warehouse built in the past four months having recently acquired over half a million of new warehousing space across Cheshire and Staffordshire in the UK.

While the large site will be used primarily for distribution to AO’s 18 ‘local hub’ depots nationwide, there are plans for it to include a delivery depot to be even closer to customers in the area.

David Ashwell, MD of AO Logistics, said: “Expanding our logistics network is a crucial step in our growth strategy, so we can continue to serve customers when they need us the most. We’ve really had to act quickly to adapt to an influx in customers following the Covid-19 lockdown. By actively securing more warehousing space and creating hundreds of new, quality jobs in the process, we’re working hard to invest in the future.”

“As a business, we’re proud to provide both an essential service for customers and a safe working environment for our people, with social distancing in place. Our team have continued to adapt to necessary changes and they are taking the swift expansion in their stride. With our latest distribution sites in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford, we’ve now established a strong logistics hub in the North West.”

Cllr Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “This is welcome news for the city. Having a major, growing business such as AO Logistics located here demonstrates how Stoke-on-Trent is powering up. It will bring up to 200 jobs new jobs to the city on a site that has been vacant for over 10 years. It’s a real boost to Stoke-on-Trent and the local economy.”

The unit has been leased by GLP, an investor and developer of logistics warehouses. Sarah Ratcliffe, commercial property partner at Yorkshire law firm Gordons, advised AO on the lease negotiations for the warehouse.