In a push to better serve customers on the West Coast and Pacific Northwest regions, Chewy has opened a brand new ecommerce fulfillment center in North Reno on North Virginia Street. The facility has over 795,000 square-feet and is the second based in Reno. By comparison, the original Chewy fulfillment center has only 566,000 square-feet and was the first one built by the company.
The newer facility was needed to provided more warehouse space as well as improved levels of automation, as the company continues to grow. Mike Stevens, Vice President of HR Fulfillment and Supply Chain said:
Our new-gen buildings are designed to be much more team-member friendly with more automation. We have a push-to-pick methodology where we bring products to the individual to reduce the physical effort necessary to fulfill orders. We deliver a lot of heavy, bulky goods, and as we invest in automation and our gen-2 buildings, the question is, ‘How do we get better at moving heavier, bulkier equipment?’ We have a lot of room to grow with automation and moving heavier products to reduce the physical effort of our workers. This is gen-2, and I am looking forward to gen 3, 4 and 5 as we go.
With the increased capacity in Reno, Chewy hopes to alleviate the heavy workload that has been pushed through their fulfillment center in Goodyear, Arizona. It also allows the company a greater chance to make good on the promise of one-to-two-day delivery windows.
Chewy currently has thirteen fulfillment centers in different parts of the country, covering over 9 million square feet and employing more than 21,000 workers. The new facility on North Virginia Street is the second largest warehouse in the country. Given that the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center facility is the smallest in the country, more capacity was needed to meet the increased demands for the western part of the country.
The new facility has also been able to leverage the robust existing labor pool in the Reno area and offer current employees a chance to grow their careers in new ways. Stevens added:
When you think about where to put your next building from a scalability perspective, locating in the Reno area and being able to provide additional growth and advancement opportunities for those employees was equally important to us. Building in Reno meets our need for scalability in the Pacific Northwest, and it also provides opportunities for more of our team members. We have the opportunity to place buildings all over the map, but that doesn’t provide opportunities for our existing employees. This was an opportunity where we could expand in an existing market and provide growth opportunities for the people who have been with us for quite a while.
The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center facility currently employs approximately 350 people. The new facility is expected to have the capacity to have a headcount of approximately 1,000 people. Stevens mentioned:
We still are hiring for many roles, especially in fulfillment. It’s a mix between fulfillment specialists, forklift operators, IT, and human resources.
More information on current openings can be found here.