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Sobeys to build automated distribution centre in Quebec


January 31, 2011
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Sobeys Inc. will begin construction of a new automated grocery distribution centre in the Montreal suburb of Terrebonne, Que. The distribution centre, scheduled to open in early 2013, will make use of the same state-of-the-art technology used in the company’s Vaughan, Ont., facility, which opened in 2009.

The 470,000-sq.-ft. facility will consolidate all of the company’s dry grocery distribution for the province of Quebec, significantly increasing Sobeys warehouse and distribution capacity, while reducing overall distribution costs.

"We are taking advantage of the leading-edge technology that is transforming the food business in Europe and in North America, and that will become a must in our industry," said Marc Poulin, president, Operations, Sobeys Québec. "This significant capital investment clearly demonstrates our intention to support a strong food distribution network and infrastructure in the Québec market."

The new facility will integrate WITRON Logistik Corp. technology, which includes an automated picking and assembly system for improved product selection accuracy and the ability to customize store deliveries according to the unique store layout of each of the company’s retailers.

As part of this consolidation, Sobeys has also announced that it will close its Rivière-du-Loup distribution centre and convert its Rouyn-Noranda facility to a cross-docking platform. The company will also refocus the mandates of its Montréal-North, Boucherville and Québec City distribution centres, and is currently evaluating the impact to employees of the changes at those facilities. Implementation of these changes is planned for early 2013.

www.sobeyscorporate.com