Makro and Game-owner Massmart opened its new distribution centre in Riversands, Johannesburg on Tuesday (14 June).
This 75,000 square-metre warehouse is the second of three new facilities in Massmart’s new centralized network which uses shared distribution centres to serve stores across the entire group.
The new state-of-the-art facility has been custom-designed to suit Massmart’s needs and will manage the highest volume throughput of all Massmart facilities. In line with Massmart’s supply chain strategy, the Riversands development is a product-based distribution centre, specializing in high-volume, pallet-based products, the group said.
“Over 30% of Massmart stores are based in Gauteng so this facility will give us the opportunity to deliver fast-moving products to these stores at greater speed, thanks to the use of full pallets, with no need for re-packing inside the facility,” said Jonathan Molapo, chief operating officer at Massmart.
Construction of this facility began in late 2019 following thorough planning and engagement with Walmart regarding optimal designs. One thing the project team could not have foreseen was the need to fast-track the completion of the facility, to keep stores stocked following the events in July 2021, said Molapo.
“I must acknowledge the way our partners on the project, R&L Architects and EDS Engineers and our landlords, Century properties have supported us throughout, and particularly when the timeline was brought forward by five months,” he added.
He added that the Riversands campus makes maximum use of natural light, energy-saving LED lights with motion sensors and uses borehole water for its wash bays and reserve water tanks.
In addition to this, throughout the construction process, the wetlands next to the distribution centre have been preserved in order to support healthy ecosystem functioning and provide a refuge for resident flora and fauna, he said.
“Every element of this distribution centre is geared towards improving efficiency. From reducing our own energy usage to the operational efficiency of the high volume product focus, Riversands will play an important role in getting the right products onto our shelves at the best possible price for customers,” said Molapo.