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Debenhams begins automation of distribution centres to improve efficiencies

Debenhams has begun the automation of its distribution centres as it looks to improve efficiencies at the retailer. It comes as the company this week announced a shock profit fall and major plans to improve the business. The retailer said that following a successful rollout of direct to floor distribution it has activated the first stage of the automation of its distribution centres.

Debenhams said that certain stores were now receiving their deliveries fully sorted by division. It said that this was making processing and floor replenishment in stores much more effective. This in turn is allowing store colleagues to be more customer-facing.

The direct to floor distribution model was introduced in May last year after a move to a single warehouse management system. The new initiative allowed Debenhams to declutter the sales floor by holding stock in the distribution centre until needed and increasing the frequency of replenishment. The company also at the same time reduced stock options by around 10% whilst also improving regional warehouses.

Debenhams last year closed 10 regional warehouses after announcing their closures in April 2017 and began consultation on the planned closure of its Northampton distribution centre.

Image credit: Debenhams