Uniqlo has announced a partnership with two robotics startups to improve warehouse facilities.
Fast Retailing, a Japanese company that develops an international chain of stores under the Uniqlo brand, announced the start of a large-scale cooperation with two startups in the field of robotics to improve the automation of its own warehouse complexes. The corporation entered into partnership agreements with the Japanese manufacturer of intelligent controllers for industrial robots Mujin Inc., as well as with the French Exotec Solutions SAS, which specializes in innovative solutions for robotics.
Today, Fast Retailing also owns a number of lesser-known brands in Western markets, including J Brand, Comptoir des Cotonniers, GU, Princesse Tam-Tam and Theory. The company operates more than 2,000 stores in 21 countries and claims to be the world's third largest private label clothing manufacturer. The collaboration with two tech start-ups will allow the manufacturer to automate warehouse yards through the introduction of artificial intelligence-based order picking robots at the international level.
Fast Retailing began its transition to warehouse automation back in 2018, when it partnered with Daifuku, a world leader in material handling, to introduce new technologies and operations to optimize warehouse processes in Japan and two overseas sites. Today, the company notes that this practice of cooperation with technology startups will be expanded. Fast Retailing expresses interest in selecting experts to "carry out reforms in the supply chain", including at the global level.
“Putting customers at the center of our business means delivering the right products that meet real customer needs, at the right price, in the right quantity, at the right place and at the right time. This is what we strive to be the first in the world to achieve,” commented Takuya Jimbo, Executive Vice President, Fast Retailing Group.