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Progressive Spends $23.5m On Auckland Warehouse

Published: Tue 15 Oct 2002 11:16 AM
Progressive Enterprises Spends $23.5m On Auckland Warehouse Expansion
Work has begun on a $23.5 million expansion and upgrade of Progressive Enterprises’ distribution centre in Mangere.
Progressive managing director Ted van Arkel says the project will double the size of the existing warehouse facility at Favona Rd, creating the largest grocery distribution centre in New Zealand.
“The building will be close to 60,000m² – it’s a facility that can hold enough groceries to supply 90 supermarkets,” Mr van Arkel said. “Around 650,000 boxes of groceries will pass through the centre every week.”
The expansion is the first major building project to flow from the merger of Woolworths into Progressive Enterprises. Progressive will be supplying all of its 218 supermarkets and franchisee stores nationwide through three distribution centres – in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch. The distribution centres handle “dry” goods, the tinned, boxed and other non-perishable items that account for 70 percent of supermarket sales.
“The distribution centre approach means simplified processes and delivery for our suppliers, lower transport costs and in the end more competitive prices for our customers,” Mr van Arkel said. “Suppliers will only have to get their products to three locations instead of dozens of supermarkets, and our stores will be able to better focus on customers because they’ll be receiving fewer deliveries.
“Progressive is aiming for world class practices and efficiency throughout the business so we can offer customers the best products at the best value. All of our decisions fall out of that. The new distribution centres will help us to deliver better value to shoppers by taking unnecessary costs out of the supply chain.”
With the Progressive-Woolworths merger, the company inherited two distribution centres in the South Auckland area. The enlarged facility, which will combine both operations, is on the existing Progressive Enterprises site at Favona Road.
Major excavation and preparatory work has already begun at the site, with the first stage of building construction due to be completed by the end of November.
More than 200 people will be employed on the construction project, which not only greatly increases the floor space and height of the existing building, but turns the orientation around by 90 degrees so that the truck traffic to and from the facility is away from a residential area on the site boundary. An enhanced recycling facility for both the distribution centre and the stores it supplies is also being developed.
About 230 staff will be employed at the enlarged centre in two shifts when it is fully operational from July 1 next year. Mr van Arkel said the company had held a series of meetings with staff and the unions to discuss the plans.
“This is the first step in what’s planned to be a major development phase for Progressive as we improve our combined systems and expand our stores and our sales,” he said.
“We’re going to deliver on our promise of better service, better prices and real competition for shoppers.”

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