Darwynn to Open Massive Fulfillment Centre Near Vancouver Amid Expansion [Interview]

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Ontario-based Darwynn, which is building an end-to-end fulfillment ecosystem, is taking possession of its new facility in BC on November 1, further expanding the company’s offering into Western Canada. 

The 112,000-square-foot facility will utilize Darwynn’s fulfillment platform including automated guided vehicles (AGVs), automated storage & retrieval systems (ASRS), and a software solution that provides visibility and insights to retailers.

The company has also appointed an Advisory Board, comprised of eight industry leaders, to help its future growth.

“Global supply chain issues and the pandemic fuelled the need for an innovative fulfillment solution,” said Reza Bafandeh, CEO of Darwynn. “We’ve seen a lot of growth over the past year, and this is an extremely exciting time for the company. With the Advisory Board and upcoming facility opening, Darwynn is strategically positioned to provide nationwide access to its fulfillment platform that will enable companies of all sizes to effectively compete in e-commerce.

“We’re seeing a heightened level of appetite for space and fulfillment in BC, specifically around the GVA (Greater Vancouver Area) . . . It has a fairly sized population and customer expectations are starting to also remain high even post-pandemic. From our perspective, we thought it would be right. A while back we made the decision to come to Vancouver and we’re very excited to take possession of a building in Surrey.

Reza Bafandeh

“We plan on growing into the facility. We’re going to have clients from all around the world. Canada. The goal of the solution is to provide service to retailers of all sizes so they can store their products, have their product fulfilled and have their product distributed to their clients either nationally, provincially or even locally.”

He said Darwynn is at the core of the company’s name and change, or reaction to market demand, is what it strives itself on.

“We believe we have a solution that’s exceptionally agile and quick to turn around. So if we see the demand we will always react to it,” added Bafandeh.

“I think this is going to put us at a very strategic position to provide a very unique offering. Space and facilities of being able to do fulfillment at the scale that we’re going to be able to do are not so common to come by, especially in British Columbia, given the state of the market. So I think not only from our presence but also the combination of what we offer from hardware to software to execution, we’ll be positioned to have a very compelling offer within the market and also help raise the bar.”

Image: Darwynn

The company said its end-to-end fulfillment ecosystem is equipped with cutting-edge technology and automation that enables companies to compete more effectively in eCommerce. The Advisory Board will provide guidance to the company’s executive team through its continued growth and development as a leader in the Canadian fulfillment industry.

New members of the advisory board named were:

  • Dr. Tina Dacin – Stephen J.R. Smith Chaired Professor of Strategy and Organisational Behaviour, Queen’s University, Smith School of Business 
  • Jim Defer – Chief Financial Officer of Tribe Property Technologies, former CFO at DDS Wireless and SunSelect Produce, and former Head of Investment Banking at P.I. Financial Corp. 
  • Elsie Li – Chief Financial Officer for Central City Brewers & Distillers, and Founding Partner at ALNA Packaging Ltd.
  • Jon Rosenberg – Founder & Chief Executive Officer of the Strongpoint Group, former Senior Vice President of Operations at Indigo and previous COO of GoBolt Logistics
  • Amir Sahba – Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Thinkingbox, Technology Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist
  • Jim Slomka – Executive Vice President at Grocery Business Magazine, former member of the Senior Leadership Team at Clorox Canada
  • Dr. Ma Song – Senior Vice President at JD.com, and Founder of Qiyi Technology 
  • Jerome Vallet – Worldwide Director at Kering and former global executive at Carrefour Group
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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