Retailers Ariat and Decathlon are the latest to adopt Exotec robotics

Footwear retailer Ariat and Decathlon, the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, will each deploy the Skypod robotic system from Exotec.

Ariat’s system will be installed by systems integration specialist Advanced Handling Systems (AHS), who previously worked with Exotec on the system installation by Gap.

“Ariat is delighted to partner with AHS and Exotec on our journey to provide unparalleled service to our customers,” said Matthew Hardenberg, Senior Director of Distribution at Ariat International. “When choosing AHS as the integrator and the Exotec Skypod solution, we saw the same commitment to innovation and the quality of our products in their solution.”

Ariat will add an unknown number of robots to its omnichannel distribution center in Erlanger, Kentucky.

The Skypod is a “goods-to-person” 3D robot offering the ability to move horizontally as well as up and down on racks stacked up to 36 feet. The system uses laser scanner navigation and artificial intelligence to navigate in a multi-directional fashion, carrying 66-pound bins and freeing up time for warehouse workers to focus on packing and shipping, avoiding traffic jams. long steps to access the stocks.

Rudi Lueg, Managing Director of North America for Exotec, previously told Modern Shipper that a Skypod robot can speed up the picking process by about five times, but when it comes to returns, that speed is accelerating. up to 10 times faster. Exotec’s solution also tracks the item throughout the process, so if an online order arrives for the item and it has not yet been re-stocked, the picker is notified that a item is awaiting return to stock so a sale will not be lost.

Decathlon will deploy 55 Skypods at 30 sites, including its main distribution center in Montreal, Canada. Installation will be complete by December in time to help Decathlon deal with the holiday rush and post-holiday returns. The robots are expected to process 8 million articles per year.


Read: On Riding Warehouse Robotics Wave, Exotec Raises $ 90 Million

Read: Gap puts Exotec’s robotic system to the test in returns management


“We are working with Exotec in several other regions and we expect this deployment to have a real transformational effect on our operations,” said Richard Tremblay, chief logistics officer at Decathlon Canada, in a statement. “The speed and excellence of logistics are two essential elements in providing excellent service to our internal and external customers. We are committed to a long-term partnership with Exotec with a gradual increase in the number of robots, in line with the overall growth of our activity. “

In September 2020, Exotec announced a $ 90 million fundraiser led by 83North with participation from Dell Technologies Capital and existing investors Iris Capital and Breega. The company has around 250 employees worldwide and most of its robotic solutions are used in Europe and Japan.

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