From stock that could stretch halfway round the world to a building so big that it actually has its own weather system, we take a look at some of the little known and surprising facts about warehouses around the globe:
1) Amazon’s warehouses have more square footage than 700 Madison Square Gardens and could hold more water than 10,000 Olympic pools.
2) The NASA vehicle assembly building is so large (348,000 square feet) that it has its own weather, including rain clouds. The interior volume of the building is so vast that on very humid days rain clouds form below the ceiling. NASA have installed 10,000 tons of air conditioning equipment to attempt to minimize the effect.
3) Costco calls their store layout ‘the race track’, they purposely put fresh food at the back of the store to ensure customers have to pass by every other category of items- electronics, clothing, jewellery - as they find their way to the food section.
4) The Boeing Everett factory is not only the largest warehouse but the largest building in the world coming in at 4.3 million square feet.
5) IKEA minimises costs by using a cost-per-touch inventory tactic. By having customers collect as many products as possible (larger items excluded) they reduce the number of people that have had to touch the product in order for it to be delivered. They eliminate the need to move an item from the manufacturer to the warehouse, from the warehouse to the delivery van and from the van into the person’s house. Each one of these steps, or touches, represent cost savings for IKEA.
6) Europe’s largest wine warehouse is Constellation Europe containing 57 million bottles. Laid end to end the bottles it houses would stretch over 9,000 miles, or all the way from the UK to Australia.
7) Recent ONS research shows a direct correlation between increased internet connectivity and increased productivity within manufacturing companies. Firms with better connections actually grew 11% faster than those without. Find out how investing in other IT systems can further increase your company’s productivity.
8) A recent trend for industrial interior design has led to warehouses actually being converted into property. In London, the old Spratt’s dog food factory, once the largest dog food factory in the world, has now been transformed into chic penthouse apartments fetching a cool £650,000 each.
9) Costco are very selective about what they stock. Compared to an average supermarket they only stock 4,000 of the supermarket’s 40,000 products. This is a deliberate strategy by the retailer, 75% of products are staples such as cereal, washing powder and kitchen roll. The remaining 25% are ‘treasures’, items with limited stock that change frequently. The sense of urgency and thrill that is created around these one-time only discounted items encourages people to impulse buy through an effect coined ‘The Costco effect’.
10) The largest data warehouse contains 12.1 petabytes (12,100 terabytes) of raw data. The warehouse contains more than 221 trillion transactional records and more than 100 billion unstructured documents, including emails, SMS, and images. It contains data from 30 billion sources, including users, smart sensors, and mobile devices.
We don’t think even the Boeing Everett factory could store that many documents…