Woolworths Splashes $100m On New Robotic Fulfilment Centre
Woolworths is set to bolster its online ordering capabilities with a new $100 million automated fulfilment centre in Western Sydney as its e-commerce sales soar.
The 22,000 square metre facility at Auburn (pictured above) will support 250 jobs when completed, says Woolworths, and will use Knapp automation technologies to help pick and dispatch up to 50,000 home delivery orders per week in the Western Sydney area.
Woolworths’ e-commerce sales grew by 92 per cent from July to December last year, now accounting for eight per cent of the retailer’s total sales. According to WooliesX Managing Director Amanda Bardwell, online grocery shopping has seen “extraordinary acceleration” over the past year.
“To keep pace with the demand, we need to innovate with new technology to boost capacity and ensure we’re continuing to offer the best possible online grocery experience.
“This fulfilment centre will deliver a step change in our online offer for our Western Sydney customers. 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,” she said.
Bardwell stressed that local stores remain “the heart” of Woolworths’ online operations.
“Auburn and our other fulfilment centres play important roles complementing the work of our store teams. They help us better serve the most densely populated areas with the strongest demand for online groceries.
“By making the most of our unrivalled national store network, we can stay close to our customers for faster same day and on-demand delivery options, as well as convenient Pick Up solutions,” she said.
Construction is set to begin this year with the facility opening by 2024, subject to planning approvals.