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RedMart invests almost S$100M in new fulfilment centre to meet rising online grocery demand

As a pioneer of online grocery delivery services, RedMart has fed the nation and catered to our ever-changing consumer tastes, substantially increased its product range, satisfying international palates, and supported local producers and farmers in Singapore.

The online grocer announced today (October 14) that it has launched a new West Fulfilment Centre (WFC), equipped with state-of-the-art automation technology to cater to the future grocery needs of Singaporeans.

Spanning 350,000 sq ft, it comprises six purpose-built systems that coordinate to fulfil orders daily. The management of the system and products can be easily managed by six RedMart staff, instead of the dozens needed to do the same work manually.

According to the company, the new 24/7 fulfilment centre will more than doubles RedMart’s capacity as online grocery sales take centrestage amid the pandemic.

Advanced automation at RedMart’s West Fulfilment Centre

redmart fulfilment centre singapore
Image Credit: RedMart

This state-of-the-art centre has two advance automated systems. The first is Pick To Light (PTL), one of the foundations of RedMart’s unbroken cold chains that keep products fresh.

The PTL automates the selection and sorting of frozen, cold and fresh produce, enabling a multi-shuttle system to circumnavigate the cold facility as packers efficiently fulfil tens of thousands of orders. This reduces human error and physical contact, while maintaining the freshness of RedMart’s most sensitive products.

As an added level of expertise, this process is led by a team of highly-trained fresh produce experts.

RedMart new west fulfilment centre
Image Credit: RedMart

The second is the Goods To Person Picking (GTP) system. The advanced GTP automated storage and retrieval system forms the backbone of the new fulfilment centre, where over 48,000 products can be sorted, stored and retrieved automatically to fulfil customer orders.

With all these new measures in place, RedMart can assist in reducing food waste at the source with the use of machine learning for precise demand forecasting and significantly reduces touchpoints between humans and grocery products. This is especially important for delicate fresh produce and in today’s pandemic situation.

Furthermore, by optimising workflows with a combination of human supervision and automation, the larger facility allows more orders to be filled while reducing human error and maintaining the same manpower headcount as before.

The introduction of automated systems in our new fulfilment centre was timed to meet the anticipated demand for online groceries in Singapore in the next few years, but that has been realised sooner than expected as a result of the pandemic. This investment is sure to keep RedMart at the forefront of Singapore’s grocery sector for years to come

Gerald Glauerdt, RedMart’s Chief Logistics Officer

A growing trend of online grocery shopping

RedMart new west fulfilment centre
Image Credit: RedMart Singapore

All of these new innovative measures have enabled RedMart to match the growing demand for grocery delivery to Singapore households.

According to an international grocery research organisation, IGD, the value of Singapore’s online grocery market grew three-fold from S$130 million in 2017 to over S$500 million in 2020. This growth shows no sign of slowing, and is expected to grow by a further 35 per cent by 2022.

No one can forget the panic buying back in 2020. If you were one of the savvy ones that used RedMart’s service, you’d remember how fuss-free it was. During that time, RedMart assisted in food security measures and bolstered its operations to cater to four-fold growth in grocery sales.

“From the days of physically visiting wet markets and supermarkets for groceries and lugging them home, the weekly routine of grocery shopping has become much more accessible and inclusive with the advent of online grocery services like RedMart”, said Richard Ruddy, Lazada’s Chief Retail Officer and Head of Groceries.

The way we shop for our groceries has indeed shifted in the last decade, with Covid-19 as one of the main driving factors. As we shift towards a COVID-endemic world, RedMart too will shift accordingly with evolving delivery options to meet the customers’ needs and the call for sustainable practices.

“With just a few simple clicks, shoppers can shop for the goods they need, saving customers both time and money, and to taste the world from the comfort and safety of home. The world is now truly at one’s fingertips”, remarked Richard.


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Featured Image Credit: RedMart Singapore

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