Kuehne + Nagel to support deployment of new supply chain strategy of retailer Conforama

Kuehne + Nagel has entered into a strategic partnership with Conforama, a PPR company, second largest retailer worldwide and no. 1 in France, specialised in furnishing and home appliances. The partnership will contribute to the further enhancement of the retailer’s market position.

A new 65,000 sqm distribution centre in Châtres, southeast of Paris, is now fully operational. Designed and operated by Kuehne + Nagel in collaboration with Conforama, this facility marks a milestone in the deployment of the retailer’s new logistics strategy, which is built around a network of four regional distribution centres plus the national one in Châtres.

Kuehne + Nagel’s team of 150 in Châtres is entrusted with all warehousing and order management operations to service Conforama stores in France.

Items managed in the facility cover all the retailer’s product ranges, from home furnishings and decorative items to large and small home appliances to consumer electronics and PCs. The facility can receive and manage up to 150 full truck loads and containers per day. A total of 5 million cases will be handled in 2007.

Beyond the warehousing operations undertaken in Châtres, Kuehne + Nagel acts as a preferred partner for Conforama, responsible for container consolidation in Asia and transportation by barge from Antwerp, Belgium and Le Havre, France to Conforama warehouses in France and Switzerland.

Relying on its know-how in logistics engineering and its experience in piloting complex logistics projects for major retailers, Kuehne + Nagel has been assigned a pilot role for the implementation of new processes and systems before they are extended to all Conforama logistics centres in France and in Europe. In Châtres, Kuehne + Nagel is currently supporting Conforama in the deployment of its new Warehouse and Transportation Management Systems (WMS and TMS), including a voice picking module.

Patrick Pépin, CEO for Kuehne + Nagel South West Europe commented, “We are delighted to be so closely involved with Conforama in such a large project in terms of change management. It is the result of an exceptionally fruitful partnership between our two companies. This close collaboration is essential in our ability to design, operate and continually evolve the solutions requested by Conforama.“

Philippe Blommaers, Supply Chain Director for Conforama added, “We have selected Kuehne + Nagel to accompany us in our supply chain development. They have all the necessary resources in terms of organisation and human resources to efficiently partner us in the optimisation of our warehouse management operations and flows, thanks to their experience in the retail sector as well as in information systems management. Châtres is the key facility of our new logistics strategy.”

About Conforama
Conforama (a subsidiary of the PPR group) is the French leader and the world’s second largest retailer of home furnishings and appliances, with a network of 247 stores, including 177 units in France and 12 in French overseas departments and territories. In addition, Conforama operates 58 stores – 40 under the Conforama name and 18 Emmezeta-branded units – in seven countries: Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Poland, Luxembourg, Italy and Croatia. With approximately 15,000 employees, the Conforama group had sales of EUR 3.28 billion in 2006.

For further information, please visit www.conforama.fr