Hudson’s Bay Company's New Distribution Center Spotlights Robotic Retail Technology

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Hudson’s Bay Company's New Distribution Center Spotlights Robotic Retail Technology

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 05/06/2016
Department store retailer Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) will open a new state-of-the-art, all-channel fulfilment distribution center (DC) in Pottsville, Pennsylvania on July 1, 2016.  The DC will utilize highly innovative robotic technology to enhance its omnichannel retailing capabilities.

HBC plans to open the 450,000 sq. ft. Pottsville facility through a phased approach, expanding to 617,500 sq. ft. by January 2017.  The DC will run best-in-class robotic retail technology that is approximately three-times faster than the typical technology utilized in e-commerce DCs. This will enable HBC to reduce costs while improving output volume and accuracy. The new DC will support all e-commerce fulfillment for HBC’s Lord & Taylor and Saks OFF 5TH department store banners.

“At HBC, we are laser-focused on our all-channel strategy, and this investment leapfrogs us to the forefront of internet distribution technology,” said Jerry Storch, HBC’s Chief Executive Officer. “As we execute on our digital strategy, we continue to invest in innovation that enables us to serve our consumers seamlessly, lead the evolution of trends in the retail industry, and expand our business which creates new job opportunities and investment in the community.”

The Pottsville DC will house corporate offices, a photo studio and a warehouse. It will initially have approximately 600 positions, which includes the creation of more than 200 new jobs in the Pottsville as well as approximately 390 positions that will move from the company’s existing DC in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Following the Pottsville DC opening, the Wilkes-Barre facility will continue to employ approximately 750 people and will focus on supporting the retail operations of the Lord & Taylor, Saks, and Saks OFF 5TH banners. There will be a total of approximately 1,350 positions between the two facilities in the state of Pennsylvania.

Following the opening of the Pottsville facility, HBC plans to introduce the technology to its Scarborough, Ontario DC this fall, making it the only company in Canada to utilize the cutting-edge systems.  This is expected to result in improved productivity and throughput, as well as increased storage space, without any reduction to full-time staff.