Levi Strauss & Co.: What will the logistic property of the future look like?
Jeans market leader Levi Strauss & Co. has been looking for a location for its planned European distribution centre. A building under construction in Dorsten is setting new standards in the conservation of resources and well-being.
“A future-orientated, sustainable distribution centre will soon embody and drive our ambitions in Europe. A mammoth task, but it was all possible thanks to JLL's commitment.”
Originally an American company, but now highly expansive in Europe. A different logistics concept demands a new distribution centre. This was the starting position for JLL’s initial discussions with legendary Jeans company Levi Strauss & Co. Europe back in 2019. The company’s fundamental question was clear: from where can we most efficiently deliver to the continental European market? Possible locations included a region stretching from the Netherlands through Germany to the Czech Republic. The most important decision criteria: central location, good infrastructural connections to the motorway network and sufficient potential staff locally. One complicating detail: the site with an area of over 13 ha must be developable from 2021 at the latest. It is planned to open the centre in 2023. And this cannot be just any distribution centre. Great emphasis is being placed on sustainability in the sense of resource conservation aspects and well-being concepts for the benefit of staff.
A complex process involving many responsibilities.
JLL commenced the search for the optimal location with a comprehensive analysis of the options based on their infrastructural connections. During the course of the process which included a shortlist of potential locations in Germany, the search kept coming back to locations in North Rhein-Westphalia.
Goods flows and transport routes, and the availability of a workforce are important factors by which to compare locations. It was a huge advantage that our team was optimally placed to assess the realities of the property market in Germany. For example, a hypothetically perfect location would be no good if there were no suitable sites in the region, i.e. sites with the right area in industrial zones offering 24/7 operation. Thanks to JLL’s market knowledge, we were able to save valuable time in the context of the tight time frame.
JLL arranged site visits with the client and was eventually able to secure a site for Levi Strauss & Co. Europe in Dorsten-Wulfen. The seller was RAG Montan Immobilien GmbH, which was looking to dispose of large parts of an industrial park covering the area of a decommissioned colliery. In order to identify a suitable investor and the best possible commercial conclusion for the stock exchange-listed fashion concern, JLL initiated a multi-stage bidding process. Of the 35 developers initially approached, the eventual winner was Delta Projektentwicklung & Management GmbH. The JLL team supported Delta in the purchase of the site and later also assisted with the negotiation of a 20-year lease contract between Levi Strauss and Delta.
The complex process was characterised by transparent teamwork and close and trusting collaboration with the CRE manager and the logistics team at Levi Strauss & Co.. The success of the project was also down to our co-operation partner Miebach Consulting. Since the planning phase, the consultancy has also advised Levi Strauss & Co. on the project management, concept development and tendering process for the construction of the building and intralogistics fit-out. The logistics operation will be highly automated, which places great demands on the planning of the structure due to the conveyor technology to be installed in the building. The impending development phase will be managed by Miebach which will advise the Jeans market leader as co-project leader for buildings and intralogistics.
Mastering critical timing to deliver a great solution.
Despite the tight time frame, JLL was able to source both a superb location and an appropriate developer. The planned distribution centre fulfils all future market requirements and will set new benchmarks, above all in terms of sustainability. The building will be the first logistics centre built according to the cradle-to-cradle approach – a circulating construction adopting the principles of recycling, conservation of resources and waste minimisation. Furthermore, the property will be awarded both LEED and WELL certifications. The distribution centre of the future in Dorsten will be very impressive with its rainwater recovery, air quality monitoring, roof garden, bike stations and charging stations for e-vehicles. The region is looking forward to the up to 650 new jobs and Levi Strauss & Co. Europe is happy with the solution, enabling further expansion within Europe.