Spartoo has built a huge picking installation with conveyors to handle 10,000 orders per day

Spartoo speeds up its e-commerce operations with a full conveyor circuit

Video transcription

LTechnology, constant innovation and customer service are some of the keys to the success of e-commerce companies.

E-commerce eliminates borders while guaranteeing a speedy purchasing process — all at the best price. Three young French entrepreneurs seized upon that opportunity in 2006, when they decided to open their own online store. The result was SPARTOO, Europe's leading online retailer of shoes, bags and clothing.

Currently, SPARTOO has a turnover of over 250 million dollars. Its online store offers its customers an extensive catalog where they can choose from more than 3,500 brands and 300,000 different SKUs of footwear, fashion accessories and ready-to-wear items.

Behind an enterprise such as this is a warehouse with a high storage capacity, direct access to each product and, above all, a flexible order preparation system aligned with the firm’s needs.

Mecalux has collaborated in the implementation of this solution by bringing to the table all its expertise.

"When we began thinking about our logistics project — a project of paramount importance to our company — we were looking for a world-renowned partner with considerable know-how to guide and work alongside us, especially in terms of the start-up of an e-commerce business. So, after putting the project out to tender, we instinctively and quickly opted for Mecalux, which met all these requirements. Plus, Mecalux gave us the chance to visit other infrastructures that were very similar to what we wanted so that we could visualize the concept. That is, everything flowed really naturally: we signed the contract and got to work."

With a surface area of almost 250,000 square feet, the warehouse consists of two sites connected by a large closed-circuit conveyor and a sorting, consolidation and order dispatch zone.

In the first site, operations, which take up over half of the warehouse’s surface area, are carried out at floor level. A mezzanine with three-levels plus the floor has been installed in this zone, as well as a conveyor system to organize and prepare orders.

The conveyor circuit passes through each of the levels centrally. Racks, meanwhile, are arranged on the sides. Goods are transferred between levels by means of lifts at the ends of the circuit.

Section 1 has storage capacity for 400,000 items of clothing, bags and accessories. Footwear is placed in modules spanning 3 levels and measuring just over 8 feet wide, while textiles and accessories are stored in modules with 4 and 7 levels.

The conveyor circuit joins the two sections and links the various mezzanine floors, which contain a total of 32 picking stations where operators prepare orders.

Section 2 stands out for its imposing 3-level platform, plus the floor, quadrupling the usable surface area. This configuration makes full use of the height to maximize the available space and obtain greater storage capacity; in other words, this zone can contain up to 800,000 pairs of shoes stored in the same space.

Order preparation takes place in a picking area under the "person-to-product" principle: operators move to the slots that contain the items in the order.

As wave picking is the method used, several items of the same SKU are removed in a single run, thereby reducing the time needed by workers to move around the installation.

Picking is done by means of boxes containing either single- or multi-item orders. Once operators have completed the task in their zone, they place the boxes on the central conveyor. The boxes are then selected in the dispatch area, and the orders are grouped together again.

Finally, the boxes arrive at the sorting stations. There, operators pick the articles and prepare the packages to be sent to customers, including the packing list and corresponding shipping label.

The orders are then sent to the staging area, where they are sorted by shipping route.

YOANN GUYON - Logistics Manager
"Mecalux’s conveyor solution enables us to enter products in stock as quickly as possible and streamline picking for order preparation … all this so that our customers receive the goods in the shortest time.".

As a company policy, Spartoo sends all orders placed by its customers before 5 p.m. on the same day. To meet this requirement, it needed a picking solution that was efficient enough to organize and dispatch up to 20,000 orders per day.

Replenishment of the products on the racking takes place during the morning off-peak hours and directly from the receiving conveyor to the corresponding locations.

This installation is equipped with smoke detectors and sprinklers, strategically placed inside the racking. When positioning them, the dimensions of the loads and the type of goods stored were taken into account.

The racking is equipped with grid shelves, ensuring both optimal ventilation and water circulation. The same applies to a part of the floor, which is composed of grid panels for removing smoke in case of fire.

"The solution provided by Mecalux means that we can face the future with peace of mind; it’s afforded us not only a large storage capacity, but also a scalable solution. That is, we don’t need to build mezzanines over the entire storage surface area right away, but, rather, can do so gradually. I’ll explain: we’ve already begun building a small 43,000-square-foot section; next will be a second part measuring just under 20,000 square feet, and there will be room for 3 more sections totaling 27,000 square feet each before covering the entire surface area of the section. From the outset, the warehouse was designed to be extensible, with construction to be completed within 10 years."

Mecalux has equipped SPARTOO with a set of logistics solutions that can evolve according to the company’s future development.

The result is an installation containing racking with various configurations and dimensions that adapt to the storage needs of each of the products distributed by the firm.

A quick and effective order preparation system for a warehouse devised and created to accompany and support SPARTOO’s expansion.