German retailer Rewe announced that its new food fulfilment centre (FFC) in Cologne, which will specialise in the online sale of fresh food, is nearing completion.
The ‘Food Fulfilment Centre 2.0’ will offer state-of-the-art intralogistics technologies and innovative automation solutions, according to Rewe Digital.
The Cologne centre will be the size of 2.5 football fields and offer storage for up to 20,000 different products.
"The new FFC 2.0 integrates state-of-the-art shuttle and picking technologies from KNAPP AG – who are the market leaders in this field – which have been developed together and ensure a high degree of efficiency,” said Christoph Eltze, CEO of Rewe Digital.
“In addition, they bring a lot of work relief to our employees. Previously, employees had to walk 12 to 15 kilometres per shift to get their orders. In the new FFC 2.0, it's the other way round: the products come to the employee simply and conveniently via the automated shuttle technology, and that takes into account different cooling specifications for products and adheres to the high Rewe quality standards."
The construction of the centre is expected to be completed by the end of the year, after a total construction period of around one year. The gross volume – the size of about 250 single-family homes – offers space for storage and picking technology, as well as offices and social areas, the retailer said.
Rewe will install the technological equipment and installations, as well as train its employees during the first quarter of 2018.
By the summer, the essential technological tests will be completed and the warehouse will be fully integrated into the existing delivery area around Cologne, with Rewe looking to expand to surrounding areas.
"Fresh food is a matter of trust for our customers. Freshness and quality play a key role for Rewe customers, both online and offline,” said Jan Kunath, deputy chairman of the executive board of the Rewe Group with responsibility for digital business.
“Especially with online orders, it is about service and attractive offers, suitable timeframes for delivery, and efficient processes. With the new Food Fulfilment Centre 2.0, we are taking an important and trailblazing step in the German context, and we continue to offer our customers an attractive online shopping experience in the future.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.