Varner Retail found the ideal location in Vänersborg

"Fantastic location for our warehouse"


The municipality’s swift action was one of the main reasons why Varner Retail decided to build their new warehouse and distribution center in Vänersborg in 2014. Other factors were the location, price of land and availability of competent staff.

“In Vänersborg, we’ve built for the future” says Anders Eriksson, Head of Logistics at Varner since 2012.


8 countries – 1500 stores

Around 10% of the items that pass by Varner’s warehouse come by trucks from Turkey, the rest arrive via boat from the Far East. Almost all cargo from far away passes through the port in Gothenburg.

About an hour after being unloaded, the containers arrive in Vänersborg, where their content is sorted and stored for a period of time. Afterwards, the items are loaded into new containers to be distributed to the 1500 stores which are a part of the Varner Retail group. The stores in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Island, Germany, Poland and Austria employ around 11 000 people.


The new warehouse became a long-term solution

Before establishing in Vänersborg, Varner had a warehouse solution based on third-party logistics, with 12 warehouses in 8 countries. “We were putting out fires instead of working with a lasting solution” says Eriksson.

They built a large facility with capacity to meet the needs for storage and supply within the entire group. One could think that it would be easy for a large company like Varner to find a spot to establish a facility in. “As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite. It was a real challenge to find a location which met all of our needs” says Eriksson.


Defined their logistic center

“We made a study to find out where our logistic center was. We found that, when weighing together cargo weight and volumes, the center was in West Sweden, close to Gothenburg’s port.

The Varner group searched a large area for a location which would be ideal from a logistic, environmental as well as financial point of view. They looked at locations around Borås, Lerum, Vara, Vårgårda and Vänersborg, where land prices were about the same.

“Of course, we looked at locations in Gothenburg, but land prices ranged from SEK750 to SEK1000 per m2” says Eriksson.

Since the Varner group needed around 120 000 m2, the price of land was an important factor. The land they eventually found in Vänersborg cost about a tenth of what a similar plot would have cost in Gothenburg.


Varner and Vänersborg’s municipality co-operates

The hunt for the perfect location turned out to be a trial. Varner needed a large space close to roads. Furthermore, the zoning plan had to approve of buildings as tall as 30 meters.

What ultimately made Varner choose Vänersborg was the fact that the municipality solved the issue with tall buildings.

“Co-operating with the municipality has been easy. The officials that we’ve met have all been positive and keen to do a good job. The municipality gathered the decision-makers who did what they could to make the process as quick as possible”.


Great location

“In Vänersborg, we have the shortest distance to all our recipients. It’s a fantastic location.”

The facility is located in the center of the Position West area – the growth zone between Gothenburg and Oslo – where the roads 44 and E45 split. The E45 is north-south bound and the 44 is east-west. The E20 road which leads to Stockholm is just a few miles away.

“A great thing about our location is that we’re just 10 minutes away from the E6, which means driving to our headquarters in Oslo takes us about two hours”.

Close to the facility is the railroad which links together Gothenburg and Oslo as well as Gothenburg and Karlstad. One day, there might be a railway station at Trestad Center.


A 30 meters tall high-bay storage

A large part of the Varner facility is built 15 meters high. However, around 9 000 m2 of the warehouse’s 47 000 m2 – the automated high-bay storage area – is 30 meters tall. The automated high-bay storage stores around 48 000 pallets and can handle up to 180 pallets per hour.


Made a choice not to compete for employees

To attract competent staff was an important matter in the early discussions on the warehouse “We chose not to be one among many. By choosing a spot where we’re the only logistics company, we avoid competing for staff. Here, we don’t need to suffer from having staff leaving for jobs at other logistics companies”. In Vänersborg, Varner found loyal staff, which consists of mainly young people.


Machines do the heavy work

The staff rotates between tasks. Machines perform almost all heavy lifts and relocations. The warehouse is relatively new but, nevertheless, the staff turnover has been almost non-existent.

“We’re still not at full capacity. When our old warehouses are closed, there will be more cargo to handle here, which means more staff. When all is done, we will have around 100 people working with us: 50–70 people in the warehouse and the rest at the office”.


Varner’s long-term venture

Capacity for expansion is built-in from scratch. In the high-bay storage as well as in the rest of the warehouse, there’s room for heavier flows. The Varner group has made a long-standing investment in Vänersborg.

“We have a long-term perspective” says Eriksson.

Lämna ett svar

Din e-postadress kommer inte publiceras. Obligatoriska fält är märkta *