By Melissa Keogh
South Australian-born Drakes Supermarkets is building an $80m distribution centre in Adelaide’s north, creating up to 550 jobs.
The project has received the green light from the Playford Council and is expected to create about 300 jobs during construction.
Up to 250 full-time equivalent positions will be created once the centre opens in June, 2019.
The 17ha site at Edinburgh North will incorporate a $12m high tech warehouse picking system.
Drakes general manager Bob Soang says the centre is a major investment in the sustainable future of the local, family-owned business founded in 1974.
“It’s also a long-term investment and vote of confidence in our loyal customers and suppliers,” he says.
“As a local family-owned business we are pleased to create so many jobs in the northern suburbs of Adelaide which have faced many challenges in recent years.
“It will be the most advanced independent distribution and logistics centre in the state and is a key plank of our group’s vertical integration strategy within the supermarket sector.”
Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty says the development is a major boost for the economy to support 35,000 new residents expected to live in the council area by 2026.
“As a gateway to the north, we are perfectly positioned to accommodate this development, particularly with infrastructure development such as the Northern Connector Expressway,” he says.
The 104,000sqm development will have the capacity to house about 23,000 lines of products including grocery, dairy and frozen foods and will include a site suitable for future development.
Drakes’ fresh fruit and veg distribution centre will continue at Pooraka, as will its meat distribution centre at Beverley.
Since being established in the ’70s, Drakes has grown to be one of the largest independent grocery retailers in Australia, with an annual turnover of more than $1 billion and 5500 staff.
It operates 57 stores across SA and Queensland.
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