REI Co-op recently opened a 400,000-square-foot distribution center in Lebanon, Tennessee, to support growth in the Midwest and Southeast regions, according to an Oct. 10 press release.
“Our new Lebanon distribution center allows us to improve our delivery speed to customers and stores, increase our throughput capacity and agility, and lower costs all while achieving new sustainable building standards,” Sylvia Wilks, REI chief supply chain officer, said in a statement.
The facility, which will serve more than 60 stores, is equipped with robotics that aid in the moving and lifting of products and conveyor belt sensors that pause when a product is not detected, REI spokesperson Megan Behrbaum told Fashion Dive’s sister publication Supply Chain Dive in an email.
“One of the most significant ways technology works within the DC is that we’ve married the functions of our order sorting and retrieval system with a pocket sorting system,” Behrbaum said. “This allows us to combine our entire omni-channel – products destined for stores and customers can be picked at the same time.”
The distribution facility also has a variety of features to lessen its carbon impact, including electric forklifts and solar panels, according to the release.
The outdoor retailer’s new distribution center complements REI’s existing facilities in Bedford, Pennsylvania; Goodyear, Arizona; and Sumner, Washington, serving more than 185 stores as well as global online orders.
New Tennessee facility expands REI's distribution footprint
REI has been looking to expand its domestic distribution footprint, and last year hired Wilks as its first SVP, chief supply chain officer to help with that goal and enhance the retailer’s end-to-end supply chain.