Supermarket chain Mercadona has started work on a central depot in Alicante to boost its online offering in the region. The project represents and investment of around €14 million and will employ around 340 people. It is expected to be operational by mid 2022.
The new warehouse will serve as the central hub for the preparation and distribution of online orders in the Alicante region. Such facilities already exist in Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid. Internally, the company call these facilities ‘hives’ and the newest such hive will be located in Mercalicante.
The warehouse will measure 10,000 square metres and is to be built on a 19,000 square metre plot. During the construction phase, 150 people will be employed.
The new hive will serve the city of Alicante and depending on the success of the project, Mercadona will expand the service to other municipalities across the province. The new team working at the hive will be a 340 strong workforce including delivery drivers and pickers, those who take charge of ‘picking’ the products to prepare the online orders.
A Mercadona spokesperson said that the new online hive “seeks to improve the experience of The Boss (the customer) by enabling a new shopping website and mobile application.” By moving the preparation and dispatch of online orders to the “hive”, instead of managing them one by one from the various supermarkets, productivity and efficiency will be increased, guaranteeing a better service, says Mercadona.
In addition, the new fleet of vehicles have been specially designed for the process. They have three temperature zones for each type of product: room temperature, refrigerated and frozen. They also have a mechanised unloading system that minimizes the handling of the load and as such, less risk of overexertion for the workers and a reduction of the unloading time.