8. February 2021

Flexible Digital/Retail fulfillment solution for Urban Outfitters in the US

  • New distribution center in Kansas City planned to support the significant growth of Urban Outfitters, Inc.
  • Key automation feature is FlashPick® – the smart order fulfillment system for automated split case picking

(Grand Rapids, Michigan, February 8, 2021) Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN), a leading lifestyle products and services company, which operates a portfolio of global consumer brands comprised of Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, Terrain, Urban Outfitters, Nuuly and a Food and Beverage division has appointed TGW to design and implement an automation solution for their new fulfillment center in Kansas City, KS in the US. The project is due to go live in 2023. 

TGW’s FlashPick® system is at the heart of the solution. The FlashPick® design builds upon the URBN pilot program in the UK (press release) using TGW´s smart picking robot Rovolution, which picks orders fully automatically and ensures the next phase of picking is being addressed. TGW’s FlashPick® design incorporates two (2) PickCenter Rovolution workstations in Phase 1, along with forty-six (46) PickCenter One workstations. FlashPick® allows URBN to use the horsepower or “engine” to pick orders discreetly. The engine horsepower is harnessed by TGW’s PickCenter One workstations. TGW’s design incorporates the same workstations and software as in the UK.

Collaborative effort

At goods receiving, cartons are emptied into totes and transported to the storage warehouse, which is used to feed the shuttle system. Totes are then transported to 46 goods-to-person workstations, where items are picked into target totes. The different areas are connected by an energy-efficient KingDrive® conveyor system. The TGW warehouse control system interfaces with a Manhattan WMS.

The collaborative effort between URBN and TGW in the US and UK means that regardless of the channel (Retail or Digital), the operational processes remain the same and operational training for associates and maintenance support is simplified globally.

Strong partner

'TGW has been a strong partner, demonstrating agility of thinking in developing a solution that will enable capabilities to adapt our speed & efficiency to meet the needs of our rapidly growing business globally,' says Melinda McClure, Executive Director of North American Logistics.

She adds: 'The new facility, located in Kansas City, Kansas, will be highly automated, incorporate robotics and provides the capacity necessary to support our fast-growing business. TGW supported us to design a modular solution we believe is simple, flexible and adaptable to the future needs of our customers.'

'The fulfillment center marks a new level of strategic collaboration between Urban Outfitters and TGW', underscores Chad Zollman, CSO TGW North America, 'It demonstrates our commitment to becoming the partner of choice for global warehouse automation fulfillment solutions.' 

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