Woolworths is building a $100 million fully-automated warehouse to power its home delivery service.
The supermarket applied to develop a 22,000sqm facility in Auburn in Sydney’s west, which will use robots to deliver 50,000 groceries a week.
Groceries at the moment are packed by personal shoppers in stores and at manual fulfilment facilities.
Woolworths is building a $100million fully automated centre to support its home delivery service. Pictured: Artist’s impression of new centre in Auburb, Sydney
The facility will use AI technology by logistics company Knapp to deliver 50,000 groceries every week
Not all jobs will be replaced by robots as Woolworths said the new depot, expected to open in 2024, will create 250 full-time jobs once it is online and 440 during construction.
The supermarket expected demand for online grocery deliveries to keep rising after the pandemic, with a 92 per cent increase in sales between July and December.
Stock will be delivered to the Auburn facility and stored in vertical slats before being compiled by personal shoppers and then transported to customers.
Woolworths has two manual fulfillment stores in Brookvale and Mascot in Sydney, which resemble large supermarkets without shoppers.
The new robot-operated centre – which will be bigger than then MCG – will have the capacity to hold much more stock.
Stock will be delivered to the Auburn facility and stored in vertical slats (pictured) before being compiled by personal shoppers and then transported to customers
Woolworths partnered with automatic intelligence logistics company Knapp for the facility following successful investments at micro-fulfillment centres in Victoria, Queensland, Christchurch, and Auckland.
‘We’ve developed a highly automated and economical concept for online grocery. Our proven technologies enable fast and efficient customer order fulfillment,’ Knapp spokesperson Rudolf Hansl said.
Subject to planning approvals, construction is expected to commence in 2021 and in line with NSW planning policy, the development will be assessed by the NSW Planning Department.
In 2019 Coles announced it would build two similar centres in Melbourne and Sydney, which it expects to open in 2023.