Hudsons Bay Co. to Expand Robotic Fulfillment to U.S. in 2017

After a successful rollout of robotic fulfillment at its distribution center in Toronto recently, Hudsons Bay Co. plans to expand the capability to a DC in Pottsville, PA sometime in 2017, the company said during a third-quarter analyst call.

Hudson’s Bay CEO Jerry Storch said the company “took a giant leap” in Q3 with the launch of robotic technology in Toronto. He said the technology can fulfill orders 12 to 15 times faster than manual processes, and allows the company to make better use of vertical space in the facility.

Storch said robotic technology at its Pottsville facility will service the ecommerce business of both Lord & Taylor and Saks Off 5th. “This improved technology will help us increase the speed of our order fulfillment, optimize utilization of space in our distribution centers and reduce expenses associated with our rapidly growing digital sales,” he said.

The company will continue to aggressive pursue cost savings and efficiencies in its fulfillment operations, Storch said. “While we’ve made considerable progress in this area over the last year, we continue to look for areas in which we can improve,” he said.

Hudson’s Bay said ecommerce sales were up 73% in Q3 and up 81.8% year to date, driven in large part by the additions of HBC Europe and Gilt Groupe. This is evident in the fact that ecommerce sales grew just 12.9% in the company’s legacy businesses, i.e. what in place before the acquisitions.

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