Kering has presented its new logistics hub located in Trecate, about 50 kilometers west of Milan in the province of Novara, and managed by XPO Logistics. The French luxury goods group said that it was its largest investment in Italy but without indicating the amount.

The site is composed of two buildings, the first one of about 60,000 square meters is already operational since March 2020, while the second, covering some 100,000 square meters, is due to come on stream at the end of the second quarter of 2021.

The whole structure will have a shipping capacity of up to 80 million items a year and store of up to 20 million items. It will enable the group to halve lead times by reducing delivery times as well as boosting synergies between its brands which include labels such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta. Distribution cuts are expected to be cut by 25 percent.

The site currently employs over 250 people but the headcount is due to rise to about 900 at the end of 2022, when the site will be fully operational. The facility benefits from the proximity of Milan’s Malpensa airport and Northern Italy’s dense motorway network.

Kering’s managing director, Jean-François Palus explained that because of the group’s rapid growth in the past years and the development of e-commerce, which requires faster deliveries, Kering redesigned its logistics platform worldwide. In Europe, due to the fragmentation of its logistics facilities, the group decided to concentrate most of its activities on one site. The choice of Trecate has led to a downsizing of Kering’s logistics platform in Switzerland. The Swiss hub, which was Kering’s largest in the world with some 20 warehouses, will be trimmed to one site in Cadempino, in the Italian-speaking region of Ticino.

The Italian hub is now Kering’s largest and will serve about 80 countries. The group also has regional hubs with new sites in Wayne, New Jersey, and Dubai. It has plans for an Asian site, which is expected to be built in Singapore.

The Trecate plant will have one of Europe’s largest rooftop solar systems, with its photovoltaic panels providing a total of 12.7 MWp when completed, saving an estimated 7,500 tonnes of CO2 a year. The site will also be the first industrial complex in Italy to produce more energy than it consumes, Kering claims. The excess electricity will be fed into Italy’s power distribution grid, for use at ”Kering stores and corporate offfices in the country.”