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Hudson’s Bay Company Launches Canada’s First Robotic Fulfillment System

Hudson’s Bay Company is shaking up e-commerce distribution technology with new equipment.

The department store operator recently debuted Canada’s first robotic fulfillment system. Located at HBC’s Scarborough distribution center in Toronto, the automated system will foster a more seamless purchasing experience for consumers and boost HBC’s multi-channel retail capabilities.

HBC’s latest fulfillment innovation is the largest Perfect Pick case shuttle system, a robotic goods-to-person picking technology from Opex, and operates 12 to 15 times faster than a traditional manual process.

Using the entire vertical height of the building, the system contains 16 200-foot long aisles and can hold more than 1 million units of inventory and process roughly 4,200 shopper orders hourly, providing HBC with cutting-edge distribution capabilities.

For the fulfillment process, two custom-built document handling robots insert packing lists, while 15,000 feet of conveyor and approximately 300 autonomous robotic delivery vehicles (iBOTs) transport inventory for storing and shipping.

With the system, HBC will be able to deliver shopper orders three times faster than other distribution centers in Canada.

Further, the $60 million plus technology upgrade will allow the 752,000-square foot Scarborough DC to remain HBC’s e-commerce hub, which currently employs more than 300 full-time associates.

“We are proud to be the first to bring this industry-leading technology to Canada, in time for the busy holiday season,” HBC chief executive officer Jerry Storch said. “This investment in our Scarborough Distribution Center creates an e-commerce technology hub and allows us to expand our e-commerce business, which is a key component to our all-channel strategy.”