Metcash has commenced construction on a purpose-built Victorian distribution centre (DC), which will be the size of 16 football fields when it is completed in mid-2024.
The mega DC at Goodman Group’s RBR Hub in Truganina will span almost 115,000 square metres and incorporate new automation technology to enable efficient supply of products in the Metcash network across the state.
It will be almost double the size of the facility Goodman built for Coles in Redbank about three years ago and the largest largest wholesale DC in Australia.
Metcash Group CEO Doug Jones (above, with Travis Hardman, General Manager – Southern States, Goodman) said breaking ground on the project was a huge milestone for the wholesaler and its food and liquor retail networks in Victoria.
“The new mega DC will house a wider-range of products and deliver greater efficiencies in serving close to 4000 stores and premises in Victoria.
“We believe independent family-owned businesses are the backbone of Australia and that independents are worth fighting for. Our network already includes some of the best stores in the world, and this investment represents our long-term commitment to continue supporting them and their local communities here in Victoria. Our purpose at Metcash is to champion successful independents, and this DC helps to further strengthen their competitiveness so they can be the best store in their town.”
In line with Goodman’s sustainable approach to property development, the Metcash facility will include 2.4MW of solar, 35 EV charging bays, and 200,000 litres of rainwater storage . Materials chosen for the design and construction of the building will also see upfront embodied carbon emissions reduced by at least 10% compared to a similar building.
The estate benefits from Victoria’s $38 billion transport construction boom, with extensive infrastructure upgrades planned including improvements to Riding Boundary Road, the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road transport link and West Gate tunnel project.
With a population of 3.7 million people within a one-hour drive time, Truganina is an attractive location for Metcash and other customers seeking strong connectivity to consumers and a skilled available workforce.
Construction of the facility will generate approximately 700 jobs and once complete the property will house 700 employees.
Local shopping turbocharges liquor sales for Metcash
Metcash’s most recent financial results, for the half year ended 31 October 2022, saw total liquor sales rise 11.6% to $2.4billion.
Wholesale sales grew across both the retail network and contract customers supported by continuation of the increased preference for local neighbourhood shopping and at-home consumption.
“The increased preference for local neighbourhood shopping continues to be seen in our strong sales performance, with shoppers recognising and enjoying the increased competitiveness, differentiated offer and relevance of our network of independent stores,” said Jones.
“Feedback from our retailers is that many shoppers have now changed their shopping habits to include local grocery, liquor and hardware stores.”
Wholesale sales to the IBA banner group increased 1.2% (+25.7% 3yr basis) despite retail sales in the prior comparative period benefiting significantly from extensive lockdowns. Sales to IBA on-premise customers increased 47.8% due to the cycling of lockdowns, growth in underlying demand and new customers.
Liquor EBIT increased $5million or 11.3% to $49.3million, reflecting the contribution from strong sales growth, which the company said more than offset the impact of additional fuel, freight and labour costs.