A new Tesco.com centre has opened for business creating 700 jobs.
The County Oak building is only the second of its kind and is designed solely for online shopping.
More than 200 personal shoppers will assemble 12,000 orders each morning on more than two miles of conveyer belts before delivery.
Cllr Claire Denman, Crawley Borough Council cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: “This new Tesco.com store provides a great employment boost and is yet more good news for our local economy. The creation of new jobs in these challenging times is fantastic and I hope that Crawley residents are able to take advantage of the opportunities that Tesco’s large investment creates.”
Personal shopper Andrew Brackston, 23, of Broadfield, applied for a job at the centre on January 2 and had been interviewed and inducted within two weeks. The ex-army man was glad of the work and does not mind starting work at 4am.
He said: “I was happy to get the job because last time I was unemployed I was out of work for six or seven months. I stay awake during the night and sleep during the day. Being near the airport we’re used to working funny hours. There’s jobs out there, you just have to get off your bum and find them.”
Personal shopper Amy Thrussell, 27, of Charlwood, said: “It has been quite difficult to find a job. I found this through the Jobcentre and applied in September but didn’t hear anything back until January. It’s nice starting early because you have the rest of the day to do what you want.”
The London Road store follows the first dedicated dotcom centre in Enflield.
The 120,000 square feet building features environmentally friendly automatic lighting, energy efficient freezer fans and combined heat and power plant. Delivery vans are powered by bio-methane to reduce carbon emissions.
More than 26,000 different products are stocked with 1,000 loaves of bread baked onsite each day. The service is available now at Tesco.com and will run at full capacity in the coming weeks.