Inditex opens 100m euro DC for shoes

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Tempe, the Inditex company which designs, manufactures and distributes footwear and accessories to all Inditex fashion retailers,  has opened a 100 million euro logistics hub at Elche in south east Spain.

The new complex, located at the Elche Industrial Park — also the site of Tempe’s headquarters and its first logistics centre – will enable Tempe to boost its annual distribution capacity to more than 100 million pairs of shoes.

With the launch of the Elche site, Tempe’s floor area in logistics will total nearly 150,000 sqm. It will allow Tempe to expand its product handling capacity to keep pace with retail sales growth at the Inditex Group’s fashion retailers.

Tempe distribution hubs take delivery of all footwear manufactured for group retailers by the company’s suppliers in Spain and the rest of the world. The centres stack and store product and send the merchandise to the group’s stores worldwide. These include Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe.

Flexibility and rapid turnaround times at distribution centres are essential for Tempe, as fresh product departs its logistics hubs weekly bound for more than 5,000 stores in 78 countries. In 2010 Tempe sent more than 40 million pairs of shoes to stores worldwide.

The site is equipped with 78 loading bays and the warehouse  can store up to nine million pairs of shoes. It uses miniloader and stacker machines which enable automated overhead merchandise storage and record each model’s reference number and location. Computer-controlled stackers locate items scheduled for delivery to stores and move them via an automated system to the sorter, a mechanical device which facilitates the distribution process.

The sorter consists of 22 intake points, three kilometres of conveyor belts and 1,200 exit hoppers equipped to process up to 22,000 units per hour. Stores’ order batches are carried to the dispatch area on conveyor belts to be sorted by delivery destination.

The bulk of items are delivered by land, though the loading bays also feature an area reserved for packing goods set for delivery by air. The entire system ensures that product lands in European stores within an average of 24 hours, and within 72 hours in the case of more distant stores in the Americas and Asia.

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