From Hub to Home - Central England Co-op colleagues working 24/7 to ensure a memorable Christmas

Central England Co-op’s distribution hub has been busier than ever this year to meet demand from customers and colleagues who are working in the 120,000 sq ft Food Distribution Centre in the run up to Christmas.

The team in Leicester works all year to pick, pack and transport all the festive food, drink and gifts customers want to local stores across 16 counties.  The teams are pulling out all the stops to ensure a fantastic Christmas for customers at the end of what has been a challenging year for everyone.

The distribution sites see stock swiftly transferred to the Society’s stores to ensure there are seasonal essentials and treats to suit every pocket.

Growing customer demand for mince pies this year is being met with 394,000 packs being distributed to stores compared to 260,000 in 2019.

Over 200,000 tubs of confectionery and 20,000 Christmas puddings will be delivered for distribution through the centre by 25 December.

8,500 cases of Christmas cards, wrapping, tags and crackers will also be handled at the centre to bring Christmas to customers via their local store.

For colleagues at the 42,000 square foot Chilled Distribution Centre, things are hotting up in the last few days before Christmas as they see a peak in products arriving at the hub. Christmas is the busiest time of the year for chilled foods, particularly in the last week of shopping before the big day as 140,000 tubs of cream and 82,000 Christmas desserts are sent on their way to the fridges in local food stores.

Robin Farrell, Head of Distribution and Logistics at Central England Co-operative, said: “It’s been an unprecedented year with the surge in demand from shoppers and our dedicated, hard-working colleagues are busy getting everything out to stores to ensure everyone has what they want for an enjoyable Christmas.

“Planning for the big day starts in January each year to make sure shoppers can find everything they want right up until Christmas Day.”

Colleagues at the distribution centre will also have the chance to put their feet up on Christmas day, but will be back to work on Boxing Day (one of their busiest days of the year) ready to keep the shelves stocked again for 2021.



Notes to editors


Photo captions: Colleagues at Central England Co-operative’s Food Distribution Centre operation in Leicester are working hard to ensure customers get everything they need in the run up to Christmas.


Sidebar: Here is a list of facts related to Central England Co-operative’s distribution hub:


  • Whilst Santa gets ready to circumnavigate the Earth, the Distribution team will cover at least 50,000 miles in the week up to Christmas day.
  • Over 240 Central England Co-op stores, as well as other co-operatives, receive deliveries from the Food Distribution Centre and Chilled Distribution Centre in Leicester
  • The site distributes 394,000 packs of mince pies between September and Christmas.
  • In the Chilled Distribution Centre, colleagues will pick, pack and distribute 5,000 turkeys just a few days before Christmas to meet customer demand.
  • Central England Co-op’s waste recycling processes will be busier than ever to complete the Christmas tidy up
  • Our year-round Food Redistribution Programme will be at its busiest after Christmas getting good, unsold food from stores and delivering it to FareShare so that it reaches people in need


About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 


Our 7,550 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


Visit for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood


Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


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