Woolworths has started building its first automated Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in the Auburn suburb of Sydney.
According to the retailer, the 22,000 square meter CFC will help better meet the online grocery needs of customers in west Sydney.
The system will be built by Vaughan Constructions and equipped with automation technology from Knapp.
The technology, Woolworths said, will enable the hundreds of personal shoppers employed at the site to pick and ship up to 50,000 home deliveries per week in west Sydney.
Woolworths Director of eCommerce, Annette Karantoni, says online grocery shopping is booming in Sydney's west as more and more customers seek to reclaim time in their busy lives.
"In the past two years alone, the demand for online groceries in Sydney west has more than tripled," she says.
“We need to keep investing in new capacity to keep pace with demand and rising customer expectations.
“The development of Auburn will significantly increase our same day delivery capacity to the west of Sydney and provide our customers with faster and more flexible online shopping options.
“It will also open a wider range of products to our customers online, with the facility holding up to 40,000 products.
"For additional convenience, we offer pick-up bays with a direct boat service for local customers who prefer to pick up online orders themselves."
Auburn CFC is aiming for a 5-star, Green-Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. The plan is to use rainwater, solar panels and charging options for electric vehicles for delivery vans.
The facility is scheduled to open in 2024.