The company added three new centres, acquisitions in Bristol and Dunstable and a new facility in Hucknall, during the past six weeks bringing its network to 210. Another five sites are planned before the end of the year.
Nationwide has also been steadily increasing the throughput of its existing network over the last 12 months by relocating several of its centres, including Slough, Gateshead and Poole, to larger facilities, with a 50% boost in capacity claimed for each.
Expansion over the next 12 months through a mixture of new and acquired businesses is expected to increase the network to 230 sites. Chief executive Duncan Wilkes expects to continue at this rate “for the foreseeable future.”
“There’s scope for somewhere in the region of 400 service centres in the UK, but that will take a while,” said Wilkes. “We’re hoping for more than 20 each year, so after this year there’s scope for another 170. By extending our geographical spread we can offer quality repairs and value for money to more motorists than ever before.”
This is not the first time Nationwide has announced an extensive expansion of its network. In 2005 then chief executive Tom Dunn set out a target of 500 UK centres by 2010.