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Innovation below sea level

07 March 2024

DISCOVER KESKO'S micro-fulfilment centre and AutoStore system developed and implemented by Dematic and how it is helping the Finnish retailer to increase volumes and improve efficiency.

“K” is for Kesko

Kesko's micro-fulfilment centre and AutoStore system developed and implemented by Dematic is helping the Finnish retailer to increase volumes and improve efficiency.

Kesko is a Finnish conglomerate engaged in grocery trade, building and technical trade, and automotive.  Kesko collaborates closely with retailers and other partners to manage nearly 1,800 stores – also known as K-stores – found across Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. When it comes to grocery, where it operates 1,200 stores it prides itself on offering quality food products, premier brands, and fresh produce, including fish, assorted meats ad vegetables. Kesko's mission is to make the shopping experience an enjoyable one.

As one of Finland’s largest retailers and a key player in Northern Europe, Kesko has achieved a pivotal milestone in its e-commerce strategy by establishing its premier micro-fulfilment centre (MFC) at the Ruoholahti Shopping Centre in Helsinki. This innovative facility underscores Kesko's unwavering commitment to strategically addresses the challenges posed by dramatic shifts in consumer demand. It is positioned five meters (16 feet) below sea level, directly under the store’s basement and is one of the first of its kind in Europe.

About the micro-fulfilment centre

Kesko's advanced MFC is a marvel of automation developed and implemented by Dematic and features an AutoStore system. The store itself spans 2,500 square metres, including a dedicated 1,000 square metres for chilled items, with an innovative focus on e-commerce logistics. The store efficiently manages a vast inventory of approximately 30,000 products and facilitates seamless picking across diverse sections, including back-store and rapid manual picking areas.

The MFC spans 500 square metres with ambient and chilled areas:



 370 square metres

 130 square metres

 8,382 bins

 2,761 bins

 30 robots

 15 robots

 3 pick stations

 2 pick stations

 2 decant stations

 1 decant stations

Why Dematic? Why AutoStore?

The decision to embrace automation was driven by the necessity to increase capacity, particularly in the face of surging volumes following the pandemic. Kesko sought improved profitability in e-commerce and found the Dematic solution featuring the AutoStore storage and fulfilment system to be the most flexible and scalable solution available. It was the perfect fit given space limitations and the many pillars that were difficult to work around. This is one of the reasons that the AutoStore system was the right choice for the store’s basement, which proved to be the prime location to optimise delivery to consumers in the city centre location as well as to consumers in the surrounding towns.

Quote: “Our primary reasons for automating was to increase our capacity, improve our efficiency, and reduce costs. Compared to other automated solutions, we believe this AutoStore-based solution to be the most flexible and scalable and thus far, it has delivered on that promise.” Jussi Hytoenen, program manager, Kesko.

For more information download the full case study here: Kesko Case Study