It will be two years in the making, but construction has begun on Woolworths’ inaugural automated customer fulfilment centre (CFC) at Auburn in Sydney’s west.Once operational, the 22,000 square metre facility will dispatch up to 50,000 home deliveries every week. 

Vaughan Constructions is building the facility and warehouse logistics software specialist Knapp will supply the automation technology for the personal shoppers to pick up and dispatch deliveries. 

Woolworths director of ecommerce Annette Karantoni said online shopping is prominent in Western Sydney, with demand more than tripling over the past two years. 

“The development of Auburn will provide a major boost to our same day delivery capacity in WesternSydney – uunlocking faster and more flexible online shopping options for our customers. For added convenience, we will also offer pick up bays with a direct to boot service for local customers who prefer to collect online orders themselves,” Karantoni said. 

The Auburn CFC is expected to create up to 500 full-time jobs and is aiming for a 5 Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. The CFC will use rainwater harvesting, solar panels and electric vehicle charging facilities for delivery trucks. 

Vaughan Constructions general manager New South Wales Mark Cormack said the company was looking forward to being an integral part of Woolworths’ latest online services development. 

“Building state-of-the-art facilities for our market leading clients in the food and beverage industry is the sort of challenge that really drives our team to deliver exceptional results,” he said. 

With more than 80 per cent of online order completed by stores, supermarkets remain a key part of Woolworth’s ecommerce network as it continues to invest towards direct to boot, in-store fulfilment and on-demand delivery.

In Q1 FY22, the supermarket giant recorded a 53 per cent jump in ecommerce sales, accounting for 11.4 per cent of total sales

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