|Updated: 9/25/2012 5:49 pm
||Published: 9/25/2012 4:57 pm
MAUMELLE, AR - More than 45,000 people have shopped in the same Maumelle warehouse in the last six months, and they probably have no idea. That's because when orders come in to Dillards.com, the products come out of the company's new Internet Fulfullment Center, a distribution hub, located in Maumelle.
The Dillard's distribution center opened in March, filling a vacant building that used to be a Target distribution center. More than 300 people now work there, including recent University of Central Arkansas graduate Coty Clary.
"A lot of people were out of work," he said, "so just to have an opportunity to work was great for them."
It's not just people working in the distribution center though. More than 160 robots - yes, robots - work there too. The robots know where to go because there are more than 10,000 QR codes on the ground. QR codes may not sound familiar, but most people would probably recognize them. They're the barcodes frequently seen at gas stations and on various products that you can scan with your cell phone. At the Dillard's distribution center, instead of telling your phone what to do, they tell the robots what to do.
"Instead of a person having to go from one place to another," Dillard's Manager Marty Martin said of the robots, "it's gonna do the work for them."
That's good news for employees, just ask Clary.
"I actually don't have to move too much other than my upper torso," he said.
Dillard's says they may expand the Internet Fulfillment Center eventually. As of now, the company employees more than 38,000 workers across the country and more than 2,800 in Arkansas.