Located in an existing business park in Bleiswijk, near Rotterdam, Zalando said the new facility will help it meet its 2023-24 growth target, and help the company continue to improve its customer service.The company said it chose the location as it has an existing business park with a well-developed infrastructure and good collaboration with local authorities. The proximity to the A12 highway and its situation in the heart of the densely populated Randstad region fit Zalando’s ambition to be close to its customers. The Bleiswijk fulfillment center will cater to customers in Western Europe, namely the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain and the U.K.
“A strong logistics network is the foundation for realizing our growth strategy and the vision,” Jan Bartels, senior vice president for customer fulfillment, said in a statement. “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 20 billion euros [$22.44 billion] in gross merchandise volume by 2023-2024.”
Zalando said it will also invest 200 million euros ($224.39 million) in the center’s intralogistics. The fulfillment center will have the state-of-the-art automation found within Zalando’s network, which consists of nine fulfillment centers spread across Europe.
The site will have a floor area of 140,000 square meters (1.5 million square feet) and a total storage capacity of 16 million items. The first shipments are expected to be delivered to the site in the summer of 2021, and the facility should create close to 1,500 jobs. The development is being undertaken by a joint venture of Somerset Capital Partners and USAA Realco-Europe.
“The Benelux markets play an integral role in the growth ambition of Zalando,” said Kenneth Melchior, Zalando’s director of Northern Europe. “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.”
With an eye on sustainability, Zalando will install solar panels on the roof of the fulfillment center. The company said it strives to achieve a “very good” score of BREEAM-NL certification, one of the world’s leading sustainability assessments.
In the first quarter ended March 31, Zalando active customers increased 14.1 percent to 27.2 million and site visits increased by 29.5 percent to 924 million. Gross merchandise volume rose 23.1 percent to 1.8 billion euros ($2.02 billion) and revenues increased 15.2 percent to 1.4 billion euros ($1.57 billion).