Zalando to build giant automated warehouse to serve western Europe

Zalando is taking aim at the lucrative West European e-tail market and is to build a new 140,000 sq m fulfilment centre to support this. The site, which will be operational in two years’ time will be a crucial one as it will serve the hugely important (and very pro-online shopping) market of the UK, plus the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and Spain.


Reuters


It will be built in an existing business park in Bleiswijk, near Rotterdam, and importantly, “will have the highest level of automation within Zalando's network” but will also create 1,500 jobs in the mid term.

Fulfilment centres are key weapons in the battle for fashion e-tail supremacy as we’ve seen from major domestic and international investment in fulfilment space by big names such as Asos and Boohoo in recent years.

The new Zalando project is the latest step in the German firm’s mid-term growth plan and its promise to continuously improve its customer proposition. 

Jan Bartels, its SVP Customer Fulfilment, said that “a strong logistics network is the foundation for realising our growth strategy and the vision of becoming the ‘Starting Point for Fashion’. By constructing a new state-of-the-art centre, we are confident that this is an important step forward in building the infrastructure to achieve €20 billion in Gross Merchandise Volume by 2023/24.” 

The site will certainly be big. It will have a total storage capacity of 16 million items and as well as serving all the countries mentioned above, will be able to reduce delivery times in the Benelux markets with more parcels able to be sent for same-day delivery.

And that’s important as the firm is aiming to more than double revenue from Benelux, where it’s already market leader, in the next half-decade. 

The company will invest €200 million in the centre’s intralogistics and the company said the high level of automation (more than its other nine fulfilment centres across Europe) “will take physically demanding tasks from employees, while increasing the service level for our customers.”

The centre will also be as sustainable as possible with features such as solar panels on the roof of the building.

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