Munro Footwear Group commits to new automated $50 million facility to support booming sales

Major Australian retailer and wholesaler of footwear, Munro Footwear Group (Munro), has committed to a new $50 million state-of-the-art distribution centre at the strategically located circa $600 million MidWest Logistics Hub in Truganina Victoria, owned by Charter Hall’s flagship $8.3 billion Charter Hall Prime Industrial Fund (CPIF).

Following a thorough and complete review of its warehouse and distribution functions, Munro has made the strategic decision to optimise, integrate and consolidate its domestic supply chain.

To enable this integration, Munro will be relocating from its current operations in Thornbury, Victoria into a new purpose-built 26,354 sqm national distribution centre for their in-store and online operations, on a total site area of 49,815 sqm.

The state-of-the-art distribution centre located at Founders Place, Truganina, will feature a significant leading-edge Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) solution with a capacity to store over 1.2 million units, which will absorb volumes currently supported by external third-party logistics providers. The facility has also been designed to achieve a minimum 5-Star Green Star rating.

The new AMR solution will increase picking speed and accuracy creating greater productivity and efficiency in operations, while reducing lead times to customers. This new facility will assist in optimising inventory levels, integration with transport carriers and enhancing customer experience across the group’s 260 plus store network and most importantly the 11 eCommerce sites, which have been growing at 25 per cent per annum.

Marcus Bartlett, Chief Operating Officer at Munro Footwear Group says, “We are on a strong growth trajectory and have made a major investment in optimising our supply chain operations to support our increasing in-store and online sales. This new facility is a key initiative in our multi-year growth plan to expand our business, optimise our customer experience and strengthen our distribution capability, particularly to support online sales.”

Munro partnered with supply chain and property consultancy TMX to review their supply chain network, design their new operations with an automated solution and run the property procurement process. TMX secured a 10-year lease for Munro with Charter Hall and will now project manage the development of the new facility on behalf of Munro alongside Charter Hall.

Sam Dellios, Director at TMX says, “This new facility will have one of the largest AMR goods-to-person deployments in Australia and is an exciting milestone for Munro. We have had a long-term partnership with Munro and through that, we’re able to comprehensively understand their business, design an optimised operating solution and procure the automation and property requirement. Munro has gone through a major boost in sales from the recent retail explosion, so our team has designed this new facility to flexibly support Munro’s dynamic growth from both in-store and online sales.”

Andrew Simons, Head of Development, Industrial and Logistics at Charter Hall says, “We are pleased to welcome the Munro Footwear team to our growing portfolio, securing for them an outstanding new facility that provides premium access to distribution channels including the Port of Melbourne. The integration of leading-edge technology and AMR solutions will ensure the facility delivers exceptional supply chain efficiencies and productivity for Munro’s customers.”

“Munro will join existing tenant customers including Coles, Uniqlo, Toll, Ingham’s, Encore Tissue and Bridgestone at MidWest Logistics Hub. Charter Hall has attracted these strong tenant covenants to the estate due to its strategic location and our experience in developing complex warehouse facilities to accommodate next-generation automation requirements.” The site is expected to be operational in the second half of 2022.

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About Warwick Petschack

Warwick has over 25 years of property investment and management experience. Principally responsible as Managing Director for Capital Management Australia and Joint Managing Director for Chauvel Capital Partners and Editor of Australian Property Markets News.

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