Zalando has announced it will begin construction on its first Dutch fulfillment center this summer at an existing business park in Bleiswijk, near Rotterdam, as part of the company’s 2023/24 growth target and the promise to continuously improve its customer proposition. The Bleiswijk fulfillment center will cater to customers in Western Europe, namely the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain and the UK.
Jan Bartels, SVP customer fulfillment, said, “A strong logistics network is the foundation for realizing our growth strategy and the vision of becoming the ‘starting point for fashion’. By constructing a new state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Bleiswijk, we are confident that this is an important step forward in building the infrastructure to achieve €20bn [US$22.5bn] in gross merchandise volume by 2023/2024.”
The site will have a floor area of 140,000m2 (1,500,000ft2) and a total storage capacity of 16 million items. The first parcels are set to be delivered from Bleiswijk in the summer of 2021. About 1,500 jobs will be created in the mid-term. The development is being undertaken by a joint venture of Somerset Capital Partners and USAA Realco-Europe. Once the fulfillment center is ramped up to full speed, Zalando aims to reduce delivery lead times in Benelux markets.
Kenneth Melchior, director Northern Europe at Zalando, added, “The Benelux markets play an integral role in the growth ambition of Zalando. Over the next five years we aim to more than double revenues in this region, thereby strengthening our position as market leader. The opening of our fulfillment center in Bleiswijk is crucial in enabling this growth. We look forward to enhancing our customer proposition by reducing delivery lead times in the Benelux area and introducing services like next- and same-day delivery once Bleiswijk is fully operational.”
Zalando will invest €200m (US$224.5m) in the center’s intralogistics and the fulfillment center will have the highest level of automation within Zalando’s network, which currently consists of nine fulfillment centers spread across Europe. The high degree of automation will take physically demanding tasks from employees, while increasing the service level for customers.
Zalando will invest in sustainable solutions as part of the construction of the fulfillment center, such as installing solar panels on the roof of the building. In this context, Zalando strives to achieve the ‘Very good’ score of the sustainability certification BREEAM-NL. Operations in the facility will be managed by an independent partner, whose selection will happen through tender.