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Robots are increasingly being deployed throughout fashion warehouses and fulfillment centres, allowing companies to be more accurate and faster when collating and distributing orders.
The backdrop of course is rising demand for ecommerce in a time of a pandemic. Whether things will return to normal (whatever that is) after the immediate crisis has passed remains to be seen, but retailers and distributors are not letting the grass grow under their feet.
A good example of this is Cheltenham-based retailer Superdry which recently told the media that its activities at its UK distribution centres have been boosted by the addition of nearly 50 robots.
The brand is well-known on the High Street and back in 2018 tested out its first autonomous Hikrobot carriers in its Burton-upon-Trent warehouse. In fact, six of the robots were put to use and now they are being joined by a further 46 which will work across the company’s distribution network.
Superdry said at the time that the robots allow them to fully exploit the potential of their fulfilment operations across all its channels including ecommerce, retail and wholesale.
The robots are designed to work with manual pickers and work automatically, selecting what’s needed to be picked, achieving around 600 picks an hour with an almost 100% accuracy level.
They also help with returns and it means that stuff sent back can be sent back out again within an hour.
One of the main use of using robotics in the warehouses is that can better cope with seasonal and peak demand periods, meaning that the distribution centre always has the ability to ramp up, or reduce the workflow.
The latest research from ABI suggests that by 2025, 50,000 worldwide warehouses will be using around four million commercial robots to quench the thirst for e-commerce innovation, including same-day delivery.