By Charles Pauka

Woolworths Limited and Mirvac opened a $250 million DC consisting of two huge sheds with the latest technology that the company says will take retail logistics to the next level.

Building 1 comprises a 90,000 sqm purpose-built facility for Big W. Building 2 is a 50,000 sqm national distribution centre which will house Masters.
The Hoxton Park Logistics Precinct on the site of the former Hoxton Park Airport in Sydney’s south-west is one of Australia’s largest industrial developments and home of the new distribution centres for BIG W and Woolworths’ new business, Masters Home Improvement.

Mirvac managing director Nicholas Collishaw said: “This is one of the largest industrial developments undertaken in Australia. The distribution centre is impressive not only for its sheer size, but for the modern and sustainable design and the extremely efficient operation it facilitates. I would like to thank Woolworths for sharing our vision to build this cutting-edge facility.’

Woolworths CEO Grant O’Brien said: “This is an investment in world-leading technology and facilities that really raises the bar in speed, accuracy and efficiency, helping BIG W and Masters to do an even better job of delivering for our customers.

“Seventeen years ago, BIG W moved away from our Sydney-based distribution centres in Warwick Farm and Smithfield because it made better sense to service the eastern seaboard from a larger facility in Warwick in Queensland.
“With growing customer demand, store networks and a growing online business, as well as our investment in Masters, Woolworths needed a new space with the very latest technology and we’re proud to be back in Western Sydney in a big way,” he said.

•    The project created around 1,400 jobs in construction and an additional 360 jobs in the distribution centres – a figure that will grow as new Masters Home Improvement stores are rolled out acrossAustralia.
•    Together the BIG W and Masters facilities have the combined floor space of around 18 rugby fields , around three times the floor space of the Sydney Opera House.
•    The technology includes the goods to person system with multi-shuttle robots can pick items at five times the speed of older systems, while a new cross belt sorter that can sort 8,000 cartons an hour, significantly reducing the need for storage.
•    The BIG W facility houses more than 10,000 different products and will this year deliver 400,000 bags of potting mix, 4 million t-shirts, 5 million books, 10 million pairs of underwear and enough Lego to build 4 double story houses, to 64 BIG W stores across NSW, Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania.
•    By locating a new distribution centre in Western Sydney, Woolworths Limited will save 5 million kilometres of driving and in the process will also save around 2.5 million litres of diesel and around 6,725,000 kilograms of CO2 emissions.

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