VF Corp., through its local subsidiary VF Northern Europe Limited, has begun operations at its new fulfillment center in Bardon, Leicestershire, which will employ about 250 people at peak times.
The new 55,800-square-meter center will have “state-of-the-art automation capabilities putting it at the forefront of the footwear and apparel industry.” VF says it will enable the group to provide more efficient distribution services to the wholesale, e-commerce and retail customers of three of its brands, The North Face, Timberland and Vans, in the U.K. and serve nearly 90 percent of the market within one day.
Core features of the center include direct flow of parcel shipments with a capacity of 200,000 units per day, in addition to 18 stations with a capacity of 170,000 units per day. The building also features systems to reduce its impact on the surrounding environment significantly. Several environmentally friendly technologies, such as low-water-use fixtures and electric solar panels, have been installed to reduce energy and heat waste. The building design also achieved a BREEAM “Outstanding Rating.”
In 2019, VF had already strengthened its presence in the U.K. with the opening of a new business hub, followed by the opening of new Timberland and Vans flagship stores in London. Martino Scabbia Guerrini, VF’s president of the EMEA region, stressed that the U.K. is the most important market for the group in EMEA. The new fulfillment center also “underlines our commitment to being a consumer-minded, retail-centric and hyper-digital enterprise as part of our company transformation and long-term growth strategy,” he added. Recruiting for the fulfillment center began last year. A majority of the positions have already been filled, with additional operator positions being added throughout the year as volumes increase.