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Tesco updates on dotcom fulfilment

By Retail Technology | Tuesday December 3 2013

UK supermarket highlights state-of-the-art technology deployed to streamline warehouse operations for its dedicated online grocery fulfilment and delivery operations

Tesco has today revealed further details about the technology within its sixth Grocery Dotcom Centre in Erith in Kent, which it says is a major part of its multichannel strategy.

The centre, which opened in November 2012, is one of a series of new Tesco ‘Dotcom Centres’ that have opened recently in Croydon, Enfield, Crawley, Greenford and Aylesford.

Tesco said at its opening that the Erith facility follows the same high-tech model launched in Crawley, featuring the latest warehouse and stock management systems to support Tesco’s home grocery delivery business and enable it to stock 30,000 different types of products under the one roof.

In a video posted today on the Talking Shop Tesco blog, Simon Belsham, Tesco grocery home shopping managing director, went further by highlighting the importance of new automated materials picking and handling systems provided by longstanding supplier Dematic.

New picking technology and processes

“There’s lots of interesting technology we’ve put into Erith,” said Belsham. “One of them is our goods-to-person pick stations, which are a completely different way of picking than we have in any of our other Dotcom Centres or stores.

“It allows us to stock a much broader range of products and it brings them out of a high-density storage area, which is [located] high up in the building and brings to it to the personal shoppers to pick into the customers’ trays at exactly the right moment. So it uses technology to give a better range and service for our customers.”

The new automated systems also increases efficiency by reducing the amount of time staff spend picking online grocery delivery orders. They enable the retailer to make, “a broader range of products available to our customers than we have at any other of our other sites,” according to Belsham. 

“And, because of the way we operate the site, we will have better stock accuracy, better quality around our fresh food and, therefore, a better service,” he added.

The grocery Dotcom Centre in Erith is the sixth Tesco has opened in the last seven years.

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