Gap Inc. opened a new distribution center in Longview, Texas, last week, in time to help the retailer handle peak season demand.
The 850,000-square-foot facility is Gap's seventh distribution center in North America and its first in Texas.
The site brings major processing power to Gap's network, with initial capacity for 1 million units per day during the peak season. At its height, the retailer's network will now be able to process more than 4 million units per day, according to the release.
Gap plans to hire 500 full-time workers in Longview by the end of 2023. The payroll is slated to grow to more than 1,000 full-time roles in the city over the next five years, a company spokesperson said in an email.
“Peak season is now, and we know with peak season comes increased demand, increased hiring and increased opportunity to delight our customers,” Kevin Kuntz, head of supply chain at Gap, said in a statement. “As we continue to deliver on our growth strategy, the launch of our Longview Customer Experience Center is another opportunity to further unlock the power of technology and automation."
The Longview facility is equipped with several forms of automation, such as an automated storage and retrieval system, robotic sorting and automated returns unit handling. The technology is part of a larger automation push by the retailer, including the current piloting of autonomous offloading and new "goods-to-person" robotics capabilities.
The company has also explored the use of AI to more efficiently manage returns, a company spokesperson said in an email.
Gap has invested in its distribution network capacity in recent months, including expanding facilities in Tennessee, Arizona and New York. The retailer expanded its facility in Fishkill, New York, over the summer to add capabilities including automated receiving and multi-level pick modules.