Myer is planning to use more than 200 autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) at its new national distribution centre in Victoria to dispatch online orders and supply stores from next year.
The retailer this week took possession of the 40,000 square metre facility, which is expected to handle up to 70 percent of online orders when it becomes operational.
It is currently in the process of fitting out the warehouse and expects it will come online by the end of March 2023.
Myer entered a ten-year lease for the facility in the Melbourne suburb of Ravenhall last year in a bid to drive “significant efficiencies in our online fulfilment operations”, CEO John King said at the time.
The move represents the next phase of the retailer’s ‘factory to customer’ supply chain initiative and follows improvement to its online operations last year in response to the pandemic.
The fulfilment centre, which is expected to hold over 100,000 SKUs, is seen as key to its next phase of growth for the retailer, as Myer chases more than $1 billion in online sales each year.
It is expected to be the largest implementation of the Geek+ RS8 shuttle system in the Southern Hemisphere to date, featuring three different AMR technologies (Geek+ RS8 Shuttle, P800s, and Körber’s sortation solution) and more than 200 AMRs.
The use of the AMRs is aimed at ensuring “faster order processing and delivery timeframes” for customers, Myer said on LinkedIn.
Stores are still expected to be used for click and collect orders, as well as ‘last mile' deliveries in some areas.
In addition to online orders, the facility will also provide centralised fulfilment for stores for “improved inventory management, reduce markdowns and maximum sell-through”.
King said the distribution centre will “fundamentally change our supply chain operations – delivering a faster, more efficient and profitable way to meet the demands of our online business and ensure we maximise the inventory flow to our stores”.
“This is an important deliverable of our Customer First Plan and importantly, will deliver a better outcome for both our customers and shareholders,” he said.