Argos at Prologis Park Kettering

Customer Case Studies

October 26, 2016
by Phil Oakley

Back in 2005, Prologis developed a 700,000 square foot distribution centre at Prologis Park Kettering. At the time, this was the largest speculative shed to be built in Europe. With hindsight the decision to go ahead may seem bold, but the building was and continues to be a great success. The reason: we listened to our customers and their feedback informed the design and specification of the facility we delivered.

In the early 2000s, there was an increase in sea container traffic from the East coast ports and a shortage of large direct import centres in the East Midlands market. We had acquired a former ironstone quarry site on the outskirts of Kettering, close to the A14 truck road and this proved to be an ideal location for a new direct import centre.

We had been talking to retailers and third party logistics providers about their requirements for very large distribution centres and these discussions helped to shape the design of the super-size, cross-docked Kettering building as well as the plans for the surrounding infrastructure.

The building is large, so we paid particular attention to the external design, softening the appearance of the overall mass by using shifts in colour and texture along the elevations. We also made a strong feature of the office element, which occupies 25,000 square feet over three floors.
 
The 700,000 sq ft Wincanton building at Prologis Park Kettering
Access to the A14 is important and under s278 agreements, we upgraded the A6003, enhanced the A43/A6003 roundabout and remodelled Junction 7 of the A14.

Construction work started in June 2005 and very early in the build programme the building was let to Wincanton to operate as a direct import centre for Argos.

Now 11 years later, the building is established as an important part of the Argos supply chain. So much so that Argos has taken a new lease. With a few alterations to upgrade the facilities, the building will continue to play a central role in the Argos supply chain network.

Prologis worked closely with both Argos and Wincanton to ensure a smooth transition to the new lease and the continuity of operations within the building. At the same time, we worked with Argos to understand the changes it had decided to make to the building; advising the company on a planning strategy and developing a delivery programme with our supply chain.

The alteration works were scheduled to minimise any disruption to the building’s day-to-day operations and we look forward to the next chapter in the story of the largest speculative shed in Europe.