• Katie Louise

The newly proposed fulfilment centre by Woolworths to support e-commerce sales growth

Woolworths has revealed brand new build plans with the Sutherland Shire Council to build a new online customer fulfilment centre (CFC) in Caringbah, New South Wales to fulfil the boost in online grocery orders.

The supermarket titan sees the new 7,200 sqm CFC as a space that will provide an extra 15,000 home deliveries and direct-to-boot pick-up windows every week for consumers based in the Sutherland Shire, spanning from Kurnell to Engadine.

The facility boasted it will have larger aisles and greater shelf space than a supermarket to allow personal shoppers to handpick from over 20,000 items "quickly, accurately, and efficiently".

Woolworths e-commerce director Annette Karantoni said the CFC will be the businesses first CFC to offer dedicated pick-up bays as well as a direct-to-boot option for consumers who prefer to collect their online orders themselves.

"We're seeing more and more of our customers turn to the ease and convenience of online grocery delivery in the Shire," she stated.

"To keep pace with customer expectations, we're planning to open a new customer fulfilment centre in Caringbah to offer more delivery windows and an even more reliable service to our online shoppers."

The facility is subject to planning approval, build of the new facility is estimated to begin in early 2022 ahead of a fully operational launch later in the year.

These plans arise as Woolworths reported online sales grew 92% from July to December in 2020.

Within that period, Woolworths built three new dedicated e-commerce fulfilment centres in Notting Hill, Lidcombe, and Carrum Downs. Carrum Downs was also the first e-store to deploy Takeoff microfulfilment technology, which the supermarket touted was the first time in Australia.

Come April, Woolworths announced plans to construct its first automated fulfilment centre to further speed up home delivery orders. Subject to state government approval, the plans will see Woolworths construct a 22,000-square metre centre in Sydney's west at Auburn.

The retail giant boasted the new centre will comprise of automation technology from Knapp that will help Woolworths' personal shoppers pick and dispatch up to 50,000 home deliveries a week in Western Sydney.

If Woolworths get the go ahead to build the centre, construction is expected to begin this year ahead of plans to launch the centre by 2024.

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