Inside Logistics

1.5 million square foot DC for European fashion retailer

Zalando is building its first Dutch fulfillment centre in an existing business park near Rotterdam

July 8, 2019

BERLIN – European online fashion retailer Zalando will start construction on its first Dutch fulfillment centre in an existing business park near Rotterdam. The Bleiswijk fulfillment centre will serve customers in Western Europe, namely the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The 1.5 million square foot DC will store of 16 million items. The first parcels are set to be delivered from Bleiswijk in the summer of 2021.

About 1,500 jobs will be created in the mid-term. The development is being undertaken by a joint venture of Somerset Capital Partners and USAA Realco-Europe. Once the centre is ramped up to full speed, Zalando aims to reduce delivery lead times in Benelux markets.

The company has budgeted 200 million euros ($293 million) for the centre’s intralogistics. It will have the highest level of automation within Zalando’s network, which currently consists of nine fulfillment centres spread across Europe. The high degree of automation will take physically demanding tasks from employees.

Jan Bartels, SVP customer fulfillment said, “A strong logistics network is the foundation for realizing our growth strategy and the vision of becoming the Starting Point for Fashion. 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 in Gross Merchandise Volume by 2023/2024.”

Kenneth Melchior, director Northern Europe adds: “The Benelux markets play an integral role in the growth ambition of Zalando. 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 centre in Bleiswijk is crucial in enabling this growth.”

Operations in the facility will be managed by an independent partner, whose selection will happen through tender.