Albert Heijn: In HSC Barendrecht robots do the shopping

Zaandam / NL. (ad) The new, mechanised Home Shop Center (HSC) of retail and food tech company Albert Heijn has launched in Barendrecht (NL). Here, jars of peanut butter and tubes of toothpaste in bins automatically roll down an ingenious, automated network of rails to come together in the familiar blue grocery crates to be delivered to customers’ homes. HSC Barendrecht will handle 45,000 orders per week.

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Albert Heijn’s Chief Executive Officer Marit van Egmond: «As the largest e-commerce player in supermarket country, Albert Heijn is committed to innovation, growth and sustainability. In doing so, we continuously look for the latest technologies to work smarter and more efficiently. I am proud of the new step we are taking in our HSC in Barendrecht. With this, we are tapping into yet another opportunity to continue to grow with e-commerce, taking into account the tightness in the labour market.»

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People and technology

For automated filling of grocery crates, Albert Heijn is deploying a mechanisation system with robots and bins to collect perishables quickly. From next week, some 300 robots with a total of 45,000 totes will drive at lightning speed through the new HSC to collect ordered groceries for customers. This will make work lighter for employees. In the new HSC, humans and technology work hand in hand, employees complete the orders, including by adding fresh products. For the mechanisation, Albert Heijn works with Swisslog.

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Innovative and sustainable

Besides being innovative, the new HSC is also sustainable. The completely gas-free building will receive the BREEAM Very good certificate because of various sustainable energy solutions such as over 5,400 solar panels, an energy-efficient cold store, energy-efficient LED lighting and a heat pump for the climate system in the offices. And with 63 charging points, the HSC is ready for the transition to electric driving.

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The HSC in Barendrecht will start handling orders for customers in this new way next week. Meanwhile, construction of the next mechanised HSC has already started. That opening is scheduled for mid-2024 in Zwolle. Retail and food tech company Albert Heijn is part of Ahold Delhaize Group (Photos: Albert Heijn).

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