UK department store company John Lewis & Partners has partnered with Locus Robotics, a warehouse automation solution provider, to improve the efficiency of its Milton Keynes distribution centre. 

Locus Robotics has deployed autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) at the facility. 

The introduction of Locus Robotics’ AMRs at the Milton Keynes site is a strategic move by John Lewis to enhance its e-commerce operations and meet growing customer demand.

The AMRS, known as LocusBots, work alongside human partners to streamline order fulfilment processes, improving both productivity and efficiency.  

The technology also improves ergonomics and safety for workers by reducing the need for manual tasks such as pushing heavy carts or lifting items. 

The collaboration has led to a 50% increase in picking rates, showcasing the impact of AMRs on fulfilment warehouse productivity. 

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Locus Robotics CEO Rick Faulk said: “We are delighted to be working with John Lewis as they embark on their robotics journey at their Fenny Lock distribution and fulfilment centre.  

“Our LocusBots have proven their value time and again by enabling warehouses to easily double or triple productivity. We look forward to helping John Lewis leverage our cutting-edge robotics solution to enhance operations and ensure a positive customer experience.”  

The LocusBots helps John Lewis achieve greater throughput and accuracy as it ramps up its e-commerce operations to address growing demand. 

By optimising fulfilment workflows, John Lewis can handle higher order volumes and provide their partners with advanced automation tools that not only increase productivity but also reduce costs and improve workplace quality. 

John Lewis distribution director John Munnelly said: “Locus stood out to us for their proven technology and their experience deploying in some of the world’s most innovative facilities.  

“The Locus solution has provided the performance levels and reliability we need to keep up with the increasing focus on efficiency and in support of our customer service standards.” 

In 2023 the retailer signed a partnership with Google Cloud worth £100m up to 2028.