CANADA – Canadian grocery retailer, METRO will be investing CAD420 million (US$304 million) over five years in the construction of a new, automated distribution centre for fresh and frozen products in Terrebonne, Quebec.
The investment will also be used in the expansion of its produce and dairy products distribution centre in Laval to enable the retailer meet the expectations of its current and future customers and to continue its growth.
Metro said that it expects to open the new Terrebonne distribution centre in 2023, while the expansion of the Laval distribution centre will be completed in 2024.
“Our new distribution centre of more than 600,000 square feet in Terrebonne will feature state of the art technologies, allowing us to make significant efficiency gains,” said Eric La Flèche, President and Chief Executive Officer, METRO.
“We will improve service to our store network with increased accuracy and reduced handling time, in both the distribution centres and the stores.
“For consumers, these new facilities will result in even more variety and freshness. We will be in an excellent position to pursue our growth in Quebec.”
METRO has signed an agreement with WITRON, an international leader in food distribution automation, with whom the company is already working in Ontario, where similar facilities are currently under construction.
The CAD420 million investment in Quebec is in addition to the CAD400 million (US$290m) investment in Ontario that the company announced in October 2017 for the modernization of our Toronto distribution centres.
“We are investing in order to remain at the forefront and better meet the expectations of our customers and our merchants, now and in the future,” added Mr. La Flèche.
Following the investment, METRO said that it will be relocating its existing meat and frozen food distribution centre in Montreal North and fish and seafood distribution centre in Rivière-des-Prairies/Pointe-aux-Trembles to the new distribution centre in Terrebonne.
In addition, the company will also expand the produce and dairy products distribution centre in Laval by 50,000 square feet to handle an increased volume of fruits and vegetables.
Dairy products will then be distributed from the new Terrebonne facility.
Metro added that the projected volume growth, combined with the integration of volumes currently distributed by third parties, will allow the company to maintain stable employment levels in Quebec.