Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Today, Colruyt Group has officially inaugurated the construction site of the second distribution centre at the Ollignies site (Hainaut) in the presence of the Walloon Vice-President and Minister of Economy Willy Borsus and of Pascal De Handschutter, mayor of Lessines (Lessen). The new logistic centre will be used for the non-food range of the store formats Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay and Colruyt Prix-Qualité (France). It will be constructed next to the existing logistic centre for fast rotation products, in order to optimise logistical efficiency. The 50 million Euro investment will provide a work place for about 270 additional co-workers. By the end of 2023, around 40 new jobs will be created.
Fulfilment of commitment to Wallonia
The new distribution centre, located at the Ollignies site by the motorway A8-E429 Halle-Tournai, will be built next to the already existing distribution centre for fast rotation products. This way, it will also be located close to the distribution centre of Ghislenghien and the other buildings in Halle.
The development of the logistic site of Ollignies shows the commitment of Colruyt Group to continue investing in Wallonia. "This new distribution centre is the second phase of a large project that was started up in 2015, in close collaboration with the Walloon government, the surrounding communities and the intermunicipal authority Ideta", Jef Colruyt, CEO of Colruyt Group confirms. "In 2023, when the site will be operational, it will accommodate 270 additional co-workers on top of the 500 people who are already working at the first distribution centre. This confirms our status of the second biggest private employer in the Hainaut province. 800 co-workers are employed at the Ghislenghien distribution centre, and the group currently has 57 stores in the province.
The investment of around 50 million Euro will be subsidised by the Walloon Region. Willy Borsus, Walloon Vice-President and Minister of Economy: "This investment is excellent news for the socio-economic development of Picardy Wallonia, which, thanks to its advantageous geographical position, continues to attract large groups. The fact that a Belgian company like Colruyt Group continues to invest in the province of Hainaut and more widely in Wallonia and Belgium is a strong and positive signal for our economy.»
Pascal De Handschutter, mayor of Lessines (Lessen), in turn, welcomes the future arrival of new workers, "that goes hand in hand with the dynamisation of our companies and, more in general, of the social fabric of the surrounding municipalities."
Later this year, in a third phase of the development of the site, the project H2Haul will be rolled out further. This project focuses on the installation of an ecosystem around green hydrogen, with production and distribution included, and where the focus is on heavy transport. A new hydrogen station will also be built in Ollignies, which will be ran by DATS 24, Colruyt Group's fuel specialist.
A future-proof logistic centre
The new distribution centre with a surface of 22,000 m² will focus on the reception, storage, and expedition of non-food products such as paper products, cosmetics, textile, as well as seasonal assortments (garden, back-to-school, end-of-year), and this for the formats Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay and Colruyt Prix-Qualité (France). Each month, around 11,000 products will pass through this logistic centre, good for a total assortment of 19,000 articles. At this moment, these products leave for the stores from the distribution centre in Stroppen. The relocation to Ollignies will allow for a further optimisation of logistics with a view to efficiency and sustainability.
The new building was designed with a view on the challenges of the future: it has a high degree of automation in favour of ergonomics and will in term offer place to a fuel cell charging station for rolling stock as soon as the hydrogen station is operational. Around forty additional jobs will be created: positions that are resolutely focused on the future.
The existing site is already equipped with a returns centre for sorting and processing waste from the stores (cardboard, plastic material, pallets) and has its own technical workshops for the repair and maintenance of machines and rolling stock.