EXEL WINS TWO MAJOR RETAIL LOGISTICS CONTRACTS WITH DEBENHAMS AND CARPETRIGHT

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Exel, the global leader in supply chain management, has won two retail logistics contracts. The first win will see Exel manage a purpose-built distribution centre (DC) in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire for Debenhams, the department store chain. The second business win is a five-year logistics contract with Carpetright plc, Europe's leading specialist carpet and floor covering retailer.

For Debenham's, Exel will provide warehousing, handling and distribution to UK and international stores. The development of the 726,000 sq ft site reflects Debenham's growth strategy both in the UK and overseas, and supports the continuing development of its global supply chain. The DC is scheduled to begin operations in time for the Christmas peak period in 2005, and to be fully operational by summer 2006.

"By managing the reliable and cost-effective supply of goods to our stores, Exel supports Debenhams' commitment to providing greater value and wider choices to our customers", says Paul Leggett, Logistics Controller of Debenhams. "Exel also provides added-value by working in partnership with Debenhams to support our business development strategy. "The new DC will increase capacity of our transport and distribution, enabling us to stay on track with our growth."

Exel currently manages existing Debenhams' DCs, including one in Daventry and two in Northampton, providing warehousing, handling and distribution services to the 118 UK department stores and 17 international stores.

Paul Richardson, Divisional Director, Exel's Department Stores and Fashion added, "Debenhams, as Britain's favourite department store, is a major contract for Exel in the UK retail sector. With the leverage of our experience and global network, we can continue to support Debenhams to meet the challenges of the complex UK and worldwide retail marketplace."

The Carpetright award signals Exel's entry into a new logistics market segment - carpets and floor-coverings - within its UK Fashion and Home sector operation. Exel's responsibilities for this contract include collecting customer carpet orders from three cutting warehouses, cross-docking and onward delivery to stores in the UK and Ireland. Volumes are expected to be in excess of 500,000 cuts a year.

The contract also covers the management of Carpetright's new dedicated 80,000 sq ft (7 400 sq m) national distribution hub at Godmanchester near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, in the UK, along with the provision of nationwide dedicated transportation. Exel is also responsible for outbase operations at Bristol, Rainham, Birstall and East Kilbride, as well as the management of distribution throughout the North and Republic of Ireland.

Brian Hawkins, Director Of Group Retail Services at Carpetright, said, "We are delighted to be working with Exel; it's reassuring to know you have the world's largest logistics company on your team. Our stores and customers demand a first class speedy delivery service and together we have devised a new dedicated logistics solution that will meet these demands. Exel's presence has enabled us to concentrate on our core business of retailing carpets and floor coverings and increasing the number of stores throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe."

Perry Watts, Exel's Managing Director, Fashion and Home, added, "We are delighted to be working with Europe's leading carpet retailer, and look forward to developing with the business as it grows further in this country and overseas. Although floor covering is a new market segment for Exel in the UK and Ireland, the basic logistics disciplines are the same and can benefit greatly from supply chain integration and the application of international best practice. Our focused solution is already generating operational efficiencies and service improvements for the retailer."

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