Woolworths to partner with KNAPP for automated fulfillment centre

Monday, 10 May, 2021

Woolworths to partner with KNAPP for automated fulfillment centre

Woolworths has announced plans to construct a new automated fulfillment centre in Auburn, NSW, to better serve the online grocery needs of Western Sydney customers.

Automation technology from KNAPP will be implemented at the facility to help Woolworths’ personal shoppers fulfill over 50,000 online deliveries a week.

The development application for the fulfillment centre is still subject to NSW Department of Planning approval. If approved, the 22,000 m2 facility will support up to 250 full-time equivalent roles and around 440 jobs during construction.

The plans come as Woolworths reported e-commerce sales growth of 92% from July–December 2020. E-commerce sales now account for around 8% of total sales at Woolworths.

Woolies Managing Director Amanda Bardwell said: “We’ve seen an extraordinary acceleration in online grocery shopping over the past year. As we look ahead, we see more and more of our customers turning to the ease and convenience of home delivery to reclaim time in their busy lives. 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 fulfillment centre will deliver a step change in our online offer for our Western Sydney customers.”

KNAPP’s OSR Shuttle will be a central element of the online grocery solution. (©KNAPP/Niederwieser)

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 fulfillment. We’re very pleased to partner with Woolworths and look forward to working together for years to come.”

Subject to planning approvals, construction is expected to commence in 2021 and be completed in 2024.

Top image credit: Rendering of planned online fulfillment centre in Auburn. (©Woolworths)

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