VF Corporation, through its local subsidiary VF Northern Europe Limited, has begun operations at its new fulfilment centre in the UK as part of the group’s wider investment strategy to enable long-term growth in the UK, transforming its supply chain model.

The new 600,000 sq ft centre is based in Bardon, Leicestershire, and is said to feature state-of-the-art automation capabilities “putting it at the forefront of the footwear and apparel industry.” It will enable VF to provide more efficient distribution services for its The North Face, Timberland and Vans brands’ wholesale, e-commerce and retail customers in the UK.

Speed and efficiency are the centre’s core attributes with direct flow of parcel shipments having a capacity of 200,000 units per day, in addition to 18 stations with the capacity to pick 170,000 units per day.

The new facility builds on VF’s significant investment in the UK in the past two years. In 2019, VF Axtell House launched its new business hub, this was followed closely by the opening of new Timberland and Vans flagship stores in London.

The site has been designed to reflect VF’s sustainability commitments. The building features innovative systems to significantly reduce its impact on the surrounding environment. A number of green technologies including low water usage fittings and electric solar gain devices have been installed to reduce energy and heat waste. The building design has also achieved a BREEAM ‘Outstanding Rating.

Martino Scabbia Guerrini, VF’s president of the EMEA region, said the development supports the evolution of VF’s supply chain business model and bolsters its UK presence, the company’s number one market in EMEA.

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“It also underlines our commitment to be a consumer-minded, retail-centric and hyper-digital enterprise as part of our company transformation and long-term growth strategy.”

Darren Miller, VF’s vice president, supply chain EMEA, added: “Expanding into this prime location will allow us to further strengthen our operations to ensure we can continue a high-quality service to our many retail and e-commerce customers across the UK. Investing in cutting-edge and technologically advanced equipment also allows us to integrate our online and in-store operations, reducing lead times and driving efficiencies to meet customer demand more effectively.”

The centre will employ about 250 people during peak periods.