25 May 2024, 18:10
By Furniture News Apr 17, 2024

IKEA's first Irish DC promises furniture fulfilment step-change

IKEA Ireland is today opening its state-of-the-art distribution centre (DC) in Rathcoole, Co Dublin, marking a significant milestone in the company's expansion within Ireland.

This new facility, employing over 200 people, follows investments in six plan-and-order points, upgrades to the Ballymun store, and an innovative collaboration with Tesco Ireland on affordable collection service, all to bring IKEA closer to customers across the Republic of Ireland.

The new DC will result in IKEA’s business in Ireland having one of the shortest delivery times in Europe. Before now, IKEA deliveries to Irish consumers required dispatch from the UK. With the inauguration of this new multi-million-euro facility in Ireland, delivery times will reduce to just three days. This strategic move not only brings IKEA products closer to its Irish customers, but also significantly improves product availability throughout Ireland.

The DC covers over 27,000 sqm, has a storage capacity of 20,000 cu m, and is capable of housing up to 9000 different product lines, spanning almost every product in the IKEA range.

IKEA expects the DC to be making more than 300,000 deliveries in the first year of operation, with that figure almost doubling to nearly 600,000 within five years. Eventually the plan is to be able to deliver up to three million items a year from the centre.

“The opening of Ireland’s first IKEA DC will greatly benefit our customers through faster and more reliable deliveries,” says Jakob Bertilsson, country customer fulfilment manager, IKEA Ireland and UK.

“It marks a key step in our ambitious expansion plans across Ireland. We remain committed to – and are continually investing in – the future of our physical store in Dublin, but we want people to enjoy the IKEA experience no matter where they choose to engage with us, whether through our full-size store, plan-and-order points, or online. This new DC will greatly enable this, by increasing availability of our products and reducing lead times.”

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Emer Higgins TD, comments: "IKEA’s new DC in Rathcoole will provide a boost for the local economy, creating 120 new jobs. It is also positive news for its customers, significantly reducing IKEA’s delivery times and enhancing accessibility for its Irish customers.

"This state-of-the-art facility is also a testament of IKEA’s unwavering commitment to sustainability. This building is one of the most energy-efficient logistic facilities in Ireland and will support IKEA’s transition to 100% zero emission deliveries by August 2025. There is no doubt IKEA’s dedication to become climate positive sets a commendable standard for the entire retail industry.”

The opening in Dublin comes almost one year after IKEA opened it 452,000 sqft customer DC in Dartford, Kent – which created 300 jobs and is capable of delivering almost one million orders annually across London and the South East of England.

This new DC underscores IKEA’s firm commitment to sustainability. The building is one of the most sustainable and energy-efficient logistics facilities in Ireland. It has a Building Energy Rating (BER) of A2 and includes features like rainwater harvesting and roof-based solar panels.

IKEA is also transitioning to exclusive zero-emission home deliveries, which, together with locating the DC closer to its customers, will result in significant reduction in CO2 emissions and more sustainable deliveries.

From today, customers with Dublin Eircodes will receive their home deliveries in zero-emission vehicles. IKEA has committed to ensuring all deliveries to customers across Ireland will be exclusively in zero-emission vehicles by August 2025.

As the first step to advance towards this goal, 17 electric vans will deliver IKEA goods across the country, with the number of zero-emissions vehicles doubling by August 2025. As of now, two zero emission vehicles will be based in Cork, two in Athlone, four at the Ballymun store, and nine at the new DC. These 17 zero-emission vans will replace diesel delivery vehicles, resulting in an estimated annual saving of 283,000l of diesel, equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by 750t per year.

To support the transition to zero-emission deliveries, IKEA has established an extensive electric vehicle charging network at the DC, comprising of three rapid charge points for quick top-ups and 20 overnight charging points for full recharges.

IKEA’s 8MW wind farm near Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim, will also support the retailer’s transition to zero-emission deliveries and use of 100% renewable energy to power the DC and IKEA’s flagship store in Ballymun. It is projected that the wind farm produces about twice the amount of electricity required by the new DC and the Ballymun store.

Furthermore, to secure even more renewable energy for the future, Ingka Investments, the investment arm of the company, has invested in a 10GW offshore wind project portfolio in Ireland and UK.

“The opening of this new DC not only demonstrates IKEA’s desire to become more accessible to our customers in Ireland, but also our commitment to sustainability and innovation,” says Marsha Smith, deputy CEO of IKEA Ireland and UK. “IKEA is committed to the Paris Agreement and to helping limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. By transitioning to zero-emission deliveries and having an energy-efficient DC, we are playing our part in protecting the planet, and taking another significant step in our journey to becoming a climate positive business.”

The launch of the logistics facility is operated by logistics firm and longstanding IKEA service provider, Wincanton.

James Wroath, CEO at Wincanton, adds: “Wincanton is excited to mark this key milestone in the expansion of IKEA in Ireland, who will benefit from our unrivalled expertise and proven operational excellence in efulfilment. The opening of this new, state-of-the-art DC just outside of Dublin further strengthens a partnership focused on our shared goals of meeting IKEA’s customers’ needs quicker than ever before.”

Deliveries will be carried out by XPO Logistics, supporting IKEA on its journey to only deliver by zero-emission vehicles.

Dan Myers, MD for UK and Ireland at XPO Logistics, says: “This is a huge milestone for IKEA in what is an important market for the business. The investment is a demonstration of IKEA’s confidence in Ireland. As a long-term partner, we are committed to working together to create a better everyday life for many people which is also sustainable and aligned with our combined environmental commitments.”

Photo credit: IKEA Ireland, Robbie Reynolds


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