600,000 square foot Johnstown facility equipped with advanced robotics to support rapid expansion
Ottawa, Sept. 27, 2018 /CNW/ - Giant Tiger Stores Limited, the leading Canadian discount retailer, is proud to announce that its state-of-the-art distribution centre in Johnstown, Ontario is now fully operational. The centre, which has 300 full-time employees and counting, supports Giant Tiger's carefully planned growth strategy, which commits to opening 15 stores per year across Canada.
"Transforming distribution is key to achieving our long-term goals and the Johnstown project is at the heart of it," said Thomas Haig, President and COO at Giant Tiger. "The improvements enable us to meet the needs of our expanding store count more efficiently, which means we are able to continue to maintain our commitment to low prices and delivering exceptional value to our customers."
The distribution centre covers approximately 600,000 square feet and features the first Symbotic system in Canada, the latest in shipping and warehousing technology. Symbotic's innovative solution provides Giant Tiger with 210 autonomous robots that move freely up, down and across racks of inventory to deposit or retrieve cases at speeds up to 40 km an hour. Large robotic arms, manufactured by Axium in Montreal, work in tandem to unpack inbound pallets and build outbound pallets based on a complex algorithm that results in denser, taller pallets.
One of Giant Tiger's strengths is its short replenishment lead times from order placement to store delivery. Symbotic's full-case pick accuracy of 99.99 per cent and significant increase in productivity are a game-changer for the supply chain. Giant Tiger processes orders for 100 stores a day on average, and these can be received, picked, packed and shipped by the company's dedicated trucking fleet, all within 24 hours.
In building the distribution centre and planning for future growth, Giant Tiger has enjoyed a strong working relationship with the local municipalities of Edwardsburg-Cardinal, the Town of Prescott and area residents. The Johnstown site was chosen for its optimal location on the Highway 401 corridor, which reduces the total annual transportation distance by 860,000 km, or more than $1 million in costs. The abundance of land and the way the centre was constructed will easily accommodate future expansion.
Meanwhile, the interior and exterior design embodies Giant Tiger's friendly, people-first culture. From the gym to the games room to the modern lunch room where the company hosts regular gatherings and holiday meals, the centre is designed to promote employee well-being. There is even an outdoor patio and apple orchard with a beautiful view overlooking the St. Lawrence River. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.
"Our warehouse staff love the space and amenities," said Mike Quinn, Vice President, Warehousing and Distribution at Giant Tiger. "It's important that our people enjoy coming to work every day and feel valued as part of a community. We have an amazing team in place and we're ready to go full steam ahead."
Here are some fast facts about the new facility:
It would take 305 Olympic swimming pools to fill up the 764 million litres of space contained in the entire warehouse.
The 1,800 tons of steel used for the racking in the distribution centre is equivalent to a quarter of the amount of steel used to build the Eiffel Tower.
The warehouse is large enough to fit 450,000 people standing side by side. This is over 100 times the entire population of the nearest town, Prescott.
About Giant Tiger Giant Tiger is the leading Canadian-owned family discount store, committed to providing on-trend family fashions, groceries and everyday household needs. Known as Canada's best-kept secret, the privately held company has over 245 locations across Canada and employs over 8,500 team members. You can also shop online at gianttiger.com. All Giant Tiger locations are locally owned or operated by a team member who knows the community. The friendly stores with the iconic yellow logo are not only where Canadians shop more and spend less, but also are proud to be known as retailer of choice. #ForYouForLess #GTCommunityProud #GTCanadaProud