Bestseller expects its Logistics Centre West (LCW), located in Lelystad, 60 km east of Amsterdam, to be operational by the end of 2026.

To address the challenges of automating product picking in the fashion industry, Bestseller said the LCW will deploy picking robots equipped with AI learning technology to complement manual picking stations.

Key technologies to be implemented by KNAPP at LCW include automated piece picking and palletising, an automated pallet storage and handling system, and a robotic shuttle system featuring over 1,400 robots to optimise fulfilment processes.

The scale of automation technology at LCW is set to achieve a high level of efficiency, with the centre anticipating more than 20,000 retrievals per hour.

The ambition is to establish a one-touch automation process, minimising manual handling and reducing the risk of redundancy caused by single-machine malfunctions.

Allan Kyhe Kjærgaard, logistics director at Bestseller, explained the company’s aim to create one of the most highly automated logistics centres in the fashion industry and Europe: “Investing in this scale of technology will optimise the efficiency of the centre and the process of distributing products to retail customers in our largest markets.”

Franz Mathi, chief operations officer at KNAPP added: “The innovative approaches that we are pursuing with our technology and our expertise as a value chain technology partner with this concept will offer Bestseller better advantages along their supply chain.”

When LCW becomes fully operational, it is projected to employ 600 colleagues, with over half working alongside robots.

The company expects automation to alleviate physically demanding tasks, such as pallet loading, while also creating new job opportunities.

The investment in automation technology hopes to generate positions for maintenance technicians, data analysts, mechanical, electrical, and software engineers, as well as process and continuous improvement specialists.

Johannes Holas, vice president of fashion solutions at KNAPP commented: “The combination of robotics and human interaction allows for the highest efficiency and quality while creating an excellent work environment.”

The construction of LCW, designed and engineered by Henning Larsen and Rambøll, signifies a significant expansion of Bestseller’s supply chain, bringing the company closer to wholesale customers in Europe’s largest retail markets.

Earlier this month (5 December) Bestseller and H&M Group announced they were developing an offshore wind energy project in Bangladesh aimed at boosting the sector’s transition to renewable energy.