Decathlon Deploys Geek+ Mobile Robots in European E-Commerce Expansion

Geek+ will provide robots to Decathlon warehouses France, Poland, and Italy, building on their successful partnership in Asia.


Geek+ is helping to modernize and automate Decathlon's distribution center in Castelnau, France.
Building on their partnership in Asia, Decathlon has deployed hundreds of autonomous mobile robots from Geek+ in modernized warehouses in France, Poland, and Italy.

Decathlon SA and Geekplus Technology Co. this week announced that they have successfully deployed hundreds of mobile robots in three European distribution centers. The companies said the modernization and automation of the warehouses builds on their successful partnership in Asia.

“The past two years represent a turning point in how people engage with e-commerce, and we have to provide service of the highest quality,” said Sébastien Alcasena, logistics transformation manager at Decathlon. “In Geek+, we have found a great partner with a flexible and scalable robot-based solution to meet our customers' expectations. We look forward to continuing our logistics transformation in Europe.”

Lille, France-based Decathlon claims to be one of the world's largest retailers of sporting goods. With 1,045 stores in 25 European countries, the company said it needed a flexible and fast supply chain. Decathlon has also worked with Exotec on picking and PAL Robotics on inventory.

E-commerce expectations heightened worldwide

New customer expectations for e-commerce – higher volumes of orders and returns, same- and next-day delivery, and near-perfect accuracy – have brought new challenges for retailers and a need to address logistics bottlenecks, noted Geek+.

Beijing-based Geek+ said it has already provided its autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and artificial intelligence to help Decathlon deliver logistics services in Asia. Founded in 2015, the company said it has more than 300 customers and has sold more than 20,000 robots worldwide. It recently opened an office in South Korea and Southeast Asian regional headquarters in Singapore.

Geek+ has also recently partnered with enterprise services provider Comix Group on a robot fleet, and it has collaborated with Körber Supply Chain to automate operations at Ariat Apparel and Bolloré Logistics. In addition, the company is working with e-commerce delivery platform Paack Logistics Iberia S.L., which this week raised $225 million in Series D funding toward European expansion.

Geek+ customizes AMRs for Decathlon in Europe

Decathlon and Geek+ spent the past six months upgrading the warehouses in Castelnau, France; Łódź, Poland; and Campania, Italy. They said Geek+'s goods-to-person systems will help optimize Decathlon's business-to-consumer (B2C) logistics. The companies added that Geek+'s AMRs will enable Decathlon to increase its storage capacity, streamline processes, and better serve its expanding online customer base across these countries.

Geek+ said it tailored the automation for each distribution center using hundreds of its P-series picking robots and its RoboShuttle next-generation, tote-to-person AMRs.

Decathlon can easily adjust the number and configuration of AMRs operating in its facilities to respond to fluctuations in order volumes during peak season, noted Geek+. Unlike traditional infrastructure, the AMRs allow for flexible maintenance and modification without any interruption of service, it said.

“Decathlon placed special emphasis on scalability at an international level when looking for an automation partner in their search for a solution that could cope with the rapid growth and the challenges of their e-commerce business,” said Jackson Zhang, vice president of Geek+ Europe. “Geek+ is uniquely positioned to support this objective, having a successful track record of projects in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region that have permitted double-digit growth in Decathlon’s warehouse flows.”

Decathlon and Geek+ said the upgrades to the three distribution centers represent just the beginning of their collaboration in Europe. Given the rapid success of this project, the companies said they plan to identify other areas where Geek+’s AMRs can help Decathlon “deliver world-class e-commerce service.”

Decathlon has applied robotic automation in one of its warehouses in China. Picking efficiency has increased by 300%.

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Geek+ is helping to modernize and automate Decathlon's distribution center in Castelnau, France.

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