Modern Materials Handling Features New Footwear Distribution Center Utilizing Matthews Automation Solutions

putwall photo courtesy of Modern Materials Handling

Photo courtesy of Modern Materials Handling

WAUKESHA, WI (January 12, 2021) — Two recent articles by Modern Materials Handling feature the new highly automated, omni-channel distribution center at one of the largest shoe companies in the U.S. – Caleres.

According to editorial director Bob Trebilcock, Caleres’ best-in-class distribution center in California boasts more than 725,000 square feet and can handle up to 200,000 pairs of shoes per day. The facility supports many channels, including retail store fulfillment, wholesale fulfillment, and e-commerce fulfillment for wholesale partners (including partners like Amazon and Zappos). Three types of order picking are done within the distribution center: wholesale fulfillment of full cartons, pick-to-carton/mixed case picking, as well as direct-to-consumer orders.

Mega Putwall Capacity for Mixed Case Picking

Part of the system integrator’s analysis when planning new automation for the distribution center showed that creating a large 2,200 location putwall would allow for a relatively less expensive sliding shoe sorter than originally planned. According to Caleres, the key was to understand the volume between full case picks, loose/mixed picks and direct-to-consumer picks.

Lightning Pick Putwall

Inside Caleres’ state-of-the-art distribution center a put wall with 2,200 locations was created incorporating Matthews Automation Solutions’ light-directed automation, Lightning Pick. During fulfillment of mixed case orders, pairs of shoes are sorted to the putwall locations in the packing area.

To learn more about putwalls (put-to-light) watch our put-to-light technology video.

Results of New Automation

The new automation’s flexibility has definitely been tested – when retail shoe stores were shut down for about three months due to Covid-19, approximately 95% of Caleres’ volume switched to loose picks. Their newly updated automation system helped them cope with massive changes in distribution, and the Lightning Pick putwall helped stage the mixed case orders for packing.

To read the full Modern Materials Handling articles about Caleres, click on one of the article links below:

“Inside the Caleres distribution center: Right shoe, right place, right time”.

“Caleres steps into a new level of distribution”.

Matthews Automation Solutions contact: Lynn Drewicz, Marketing Manager, Matthews Automation Solutions [email protected], 262.250.2169, or visit

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Global brands partner with Matthews Automation Solutions to increase distribution and order fulfillment speed, accuracy and efficiency. Matthews’ broad portfolio of best-of-breed solutions—including leading material handling automation brands Compass, Lightning Pick and Pyramid—offers warehouse execution software, controls, pick-to-light, put walls, order finishing systems, autonomous mobile robots and more. Combined with 25 years of industry experience and proven integration with other material handling systems, Matthews delivers agile and scalable applications throughout the supply chain. Matthews Automation Solutions is a Matthews International company, servicing customers from two North American locations.

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