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Customer assurances as Witney dairy closes
6:00pm Wednesday 18th April 2012 in News
MILK supplier Dairy Crest has closed its Witney depot, but maintains that customers in West Oxfordshire will not be affected.
The depot, in Oxford Hill, shut on Saturday and milkmen will now travel from Oxford and Swindon to deliver to the district’s homes.
The move will make between one and two back office staff redundant and the company plans to sell the site for development.
Dairy Crest will close between 10 and 20 of its 140 depots this year. The closure of depots in Aintree, in Merseyside and Fenstanton, in Cambridgeshire will cost nearly 500 jobs.
The company employs 6,000 people overall.
Company spokesman Arthur Reeves said: “We are selling less and less milk to residential customers.
“More people are buying from supermarkets rather than have it delivered, and we have a programme of cutting out depots to make the operation viable.
“Closing the Witney depot will not result in a huge saving, but it is something we have to do to keep ourselves efficient.
“Residents will not notice any difference.”
But he denied the company was in trouble, adding: “We have over one million doorstep customers across the country and people love it.
“We are doing things to bring milkmen into the modern age.”
The company now offers more groceries in its deliveries and has launched a new website to change orders the night before.
He said the depot closure programme was not ongoing and said there were no plans to close the Oxford or Swindon branches.