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Nike (US) expands and pioneers brand-new tech in Flanders

Just do it. Nike puts its iconic slogan into practice in Flanders once again. After first gaining a foothold in Flanders in 1994 with a distribution center in Laakdal and 6 consecutive expansions later, the sporting goods manufacturer is now giving its European Logistics Campus (ELC), on multiple sites in Flanders, a pioneering role. At its distribution center in Ham, Nike is not only expanding, but also implementing a brand-new technology.

Implementing the new sequencer technology

It’s abundantly clear. Nike thrives in Flanders. Thanks to the region’s excellent location, infrastructure and workforce, the multinational opened a sixth distribution center in Ham in 2019. The American multinational is sustaining the momentum and underlining its strong commitment and faith in Flanders with extra investments.

Now, the Nike Europe Holding has officially announced that it is investing another EUR 116 million in the expansion of its Ham distribution center and the implementation of its innovative ‘sequencer technology’. The objective? To go even further in increasing the company’s efficiency, which is challenged by changing consumer demands.

Responding to behavioral changes

The COVID-19 pandemic boosted Nike’s direct-to-consumer sales via e-commerce. The volume of sales to individual consumers has increased compared to the business done with retail distributors. This has led to a higher amount of smaller orders with a mix of several types of products, such as clothing, shoes and accessories. In this regard, Nike has developed the technology required to respond to this changing consumer behavior.

Digital transformation hub

Introducing the sequencer technology is the next step in our digital transformation. “The high-tech production lines will be in constant motion and will enable sorting the products individually,” confirms Kurt Van Donink, General Manager EMEA Logistics Campus at Nike.  

From now on, the collection process of products coming from the different distribution centers – covering a total area of 97 hectares – will operate even more efficiently. In addition, this highly automated innovation will allow Nike to aggregate different orders or products into one dispatch.  

The sequencers will be the digital transformation hubs of our distribution centers in every sense of the word.

Kurt Van Donink
General Manager EMEA Logistics Campus at Nike

With strategic support from Flanders

To support a loyal investor such as Nike, the government of Flanders will provide EUR 2 million of funding as ‘super-strategic support’ for the American company’s innovative project. The investment will create 500 additional jobs in Flanders.

The implementation of Nike’s sequencer technology in Flanders is a pioneering global project.

Hilde Crevits
Flanders’ Minister of Economy, Innovation, Work, Social economy & Agriculture

Discover why US company Nike chooses Flanders

More info

Nike
Reported by
newspaper De Standaard, website TV Limburg
8 September 2021

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