Boom time for boohoo as global giant announces further £100m. investment in Burnley site

Online fashion retailer, boohoo group plc, which has a huge site in Burnley, has announced a £500m. capital investment commitment to support the creation of 5,000 new jobs over the next five years

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 11:53 am
Updated Thursday, 12th August 2021, 11:54 am

The jobs are set to be created across the UK, with considerable investment being made at Burnley' s Widow Hill Road site, comprising warehouse and office, which has already seen £117m. invested in it since the company took ownership in 2010.

Indeed, it is estimated that boohoo added £188.4m. in value (GVA) to the Burnley economy in 2020/21.

And bosses also highlighted the increased the number of people on permanent contracts at its Burnley warehouse from 35% to 85% over the last 18 months, with plans to increase this number further. This means warehouse colleagues can enjoy the full range of benefits for boohoo group employees, including private healthcare and a free, annual share allocation.

The huge boohoo warehouse at Hesandford Industrial Estate, Widow Hill Road

The latest investments will help the company continue the incredible growth it has experienced since launching 15 years ago, expanding from a single brand in 2006 to a group of 13 global brands today.

The company will invest over £100m. in specialist equipment at its Burnley warehouse, meaning it will need highly-skilled people to maintain it, and has also recently built a 40 strong team of engineers as well as 12 engineering apprentices on site.

Rooted in the north of England, boohoo has a growing global appeal, with around 50% of its sales now coming from international markets such as the USA and Australia. In order to meet this increased demand, boohoo has set out its plans to secure additional warehouse space and invest in ‘smart IT solutions’ which will help its processes to become more efficient.

boohoo group CEO John Lyttle said: “The growth this business has experienced over the last 15 years has been phenomenal. It has not been without its challenges, but it is right to celebrate the significant contributions the company makes to the towns and communities where we operate.

"The investments we have planned will help us to continue our growth, increasing our customer base both at home and abroad, adding even more value as we do so.

“All of this has only been possible because of the amazing people who form our boohoo family. I am so proud of the way they rise to every challenge and I look forward to growing together as we cement our position as leaders in global fashion e-commerce.”

The announcement on jobs and investment is set out in boohoo’s ‘Economic Impact Report’, published today, which details the current and historic gross value added (“GVA”) that boohoo contributes and has contributed to the UK’s economy.

The report identifies the scale of the group’s contributions, including:

In the financial year 2020/21, the group’s operations added £559.4m in GVA to the UK, supporting an estimated 8,050 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs

The GVA figure (£559.4m) equates to around 4.4% of the total UK clothing and footwear retail sector

Since 2009, the group’s operations have added almost £2bn in GVA to the UK’s economy

For every job directly created by the Group, a further 1.7 jobs are created in the wider economy

The Economic Impact Report also outlines the importance of the group’s activities in supporting British job creation. In logistics, for example, the group employs 7,000 people at four distribution centres in the UK and ships between 190,000 and 230,000 parcels a day. These parcels are handled by 13 main courier companies and supported an estimated 1,660 jobs in the financial year 2020/21.

The report also highlights the regional impacts of the group’s operations, with 94% of the jobs and economic benefit created by boohoo group taking place outside of London. Burnley is home to the group’s international distribution centre and Manchester is where the company’s head office is located. Across the north west, the group contributed £309 million in GVA to the regional economy and – as of January 2021 – employed 3,208 people in the region.

Finally, the report also covers how boohoo group is working to ensure secure and stable employment for people. In the last financial year, the group moved over 1,400 agency colleagues from its warehouse teams onto permanent boohoo contracts, where they are able to share in the full benefits package which includes; generous pension scheme, competitive pay rates (that don’t differentiate between age groups) and more including a free annual share allocation.