The GIANT Co. opens state-of-the-art e-commerce fulfillment center
Earlier this month, The GIANT Co. officially opened its new GIANT Direct e-commerce fulfillment center (EFC) in Philadelphia. The ultramodern 124,000-square-foot facility will enable the company to serve more customers in Philadelphia and — for the first time in its 98-year history — in southern New Jersey.
In celebration of the grand opening, the company held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with remarks from Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, The GIANT Co. President Nicholas Bertram, and Ahold Delhaize USA Supply Chain President Chris Lewis.
“Today is the culmination of more than two years of collaboration between our team, Ahold Delhaize USA Supply Chain, and our partners at Swisslog and AutoStore resulting in a state-of-the-art facility that will propel our GIANT Direct offering across greater Philadelphia and for the first time, southern New Jersey. Our new GIANT Direct EFC represents the future of grocery and the future of The GIANT Co., as we are one step closer to realizing our full omnichannel aspirations,” said Bertram.
“The opening of this facility is an exciting step forward as we continue to collaborate to evolve the supply chain network for the future,” said Lewis. “Solutions like micro-fulfilment centers will be an important part of the self-distributed network, positioned to serve customers whenever, wherever, however they want to shop.”
Since the beginning of this week, the facility also provides GIANT Direct delivery to several New Jersey towns for the first time. The company plans to introduce GIANT Direct to additional communities in southern New Jersey over the next several months.
Implementing innovative technology
As part of The GIANT Co.’s commitment to optimizing and growing GIANT Direct for delivery orders and in-store pickup, The GIANT Co. is the first Ahold Delhaize USA company to implement this new EFC technology which streamlines order fulfillment by using the latest in robotics, machine learning, and vertical integration. The GIANT Co. worked with Ahold Delhaize USA company Peapod Digital Labs, Swisslog, and AutoStore on the project.
Within the GIANT Direct EFC, two space-saving, 3D grids contain totes filled with fresh and non-perishable groceries. When a customer places a GIANT Direct order, team members work alongside a team of robots that quickly gather the items for bagging. After bagging, GIANT team members place orders into temperature-controlled totes and on to trucks for delivery to customers.
The GIANT Direct EFC offers a selection of product that mirrors a traditional GIANT store’s offerings. The facility will stock more than 22,000 products, enabling The GIANT Company to meet increasing customer demand with greater capacity, faster order fulfillment, and room to grow home grocery delivery. The center is expected to fulfill up to approximately 15,000 home delivery orders per week.
At Ahold Delhaize’s virtual Investor Day held this week, Selma Postma, Chief Digital Officer Ahold Delhaize Europe & Indonesia, also shared information about The Network Tool (TNT) that was used to help set up the GIANT Direct EFC. TNT is a best in-class network optimization engine that leverages predictive analytics and a wide range of data inputs to give network expansion recommendations that allow brands to maximize the reach and capacity of their e-commerce networks while minimizing operating costs and capital required. The TNT tool was used to determine the ideal location, capacity and coverage of the EFC and has allowed The GIANT Company to optimize capital investments and reduce operating costs.
The GIANT Co. will continue to grow
The new facility builds on The GIANT Co.’s strong presence in Philadelphia, which has grown from one store in 2018 to 10 by the end of 2023. In addition to three GIANT Heirloom Markets and its new Philadelphia flagship Riverwalk store, The GIANT Co. will open three new stores by the end of the year.
The GIANT Co. introduced the GIANT Direct brand in February 2019 when it debuted its first e-commerce hub in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Today, the company has more than 150 pickup locations and customers across 90% of the company’s footprint have access to online grocery ordering and delivery services.