Australian supermarket and grocery chain Woolworths is planning its first automated fulfilment technology to improve its customer experience in home delivery. The new facility will use automation from KNAPP to fulfil over 50,000 online deliveries a week.
Woolworths has announced plans to construct a new automated fulfilment centre in Auburn, New South Wales, to better serve the online grocery needs of its customers across Western Sydney. Subject to planning approval, the 22,000-sqm Auburn fulfilment centre will create up to 250 full-time equivalent roles and around 440 jobs during construction, which is expected to commence in 2021 with go-live planned for 2024.
The plans come as Woolworths reported e-commerce sales growth of 92 percent from July-December 2020. E-commerce sales now account for around eight percent of total sales at Woolworths. “This fulfilment centre will deliver a step change in our online offer for our Western Sydney customers,” said WooliesX Managing Director, Amanda Bardwell. “With KNAPP’s world-class automation, our team of personal shoppers will be able to pick many more orders – offering our customers faster delivery options and extra windows to choose from.”
Rudolf Hansl, Vice President Food Retail Solutions at KNAPP said: “In collaboration with Woolworths, we’ve developed a highly automated and economical concept for online grocery. Our proven technologies enable fast and efficient customer order fulfilment. We’re very pleased to partner with Woolworths and look forward to working together for years to come.”
MFCs in Australasia
Auburn is the next stage of e-commerce investment following strong growth and increased scale. It builds on recent investments with Takeoff’s micro fulfilment centres or MFCs (using KNAPP technology) that are already live at Carrum Downs, Victoria; Moorhouse, Christchurch; and Penrose, Auckland. A further site is under construction at Maroochydore, Queensland.