Skechers deploys case-handling robots at new warehouse

Skechers is deploying Hai Robotics' HaiPick automated case-handling robots.
Skechers wants to use robots to extend productivity and reduce physical demands on staff. | Source: Hai Robotics

Skechers launched a new warehouse that uses Hai Robotics’ automated goods-to-person system. Hai Robotics’ automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) is deployed at the Skechers distribution center in Tokyo, Japan. The global footwear and apparel company plans to use the ASRS to maximize warehouse operational efficiency, fulfillment speed, and order accuracy.

“We are honored to help Skechers elevate the operations in their new facility and be a key part in the facility’s ability to quickly reach their customers,” said Brian Reinhart, chief revenue officer at Hai Robotics U.S.A, said. “We are grateful for the trust that MHE and Skechers have placed in us and thrilled with the success seen so far. We will continue to work closely with MHE Solutions and Skechers to further support their warehouse automation journey and help them go above and beyond in their operational efficiency goals.”

Why Skechers chose Hai Robotics

Supported by material handling company MHE Solutions, Skechers built its new facility to keep up with growing demand in the Japanese market. Additionally, it wanted to advance operations that had historically relied on manually laborious tasks. Before implementing Hai’s system, manual picking processes were Skechers’ standard when it came to fulfilling orders. However, staff shortages coupled with greater SKU variety contributed to high operating costs with limited outbound picking and efficiency speed.

Skechers said it evaluated several automation providers, but determined Hai’s HaiPick System was the right solution.

“All automation projects have their challenges, but the Hai team has been a very good partner in maintaining a positive, can-do attitude and remaining committed to doing the right thing for the customer by delivering on their design,” said Sophie Houtmeyers, vice president of distribution operations at Skechers, and Michael Pitt of MHE Solutions. “The Hai ACR system facilitated creative application to maximize both utilization of the warehouse floor space and hard-to-reach vertical storage space in a challenging Japanese warehousing design caused by strict fire codes. It has additionally provided productivity gains that are key to the growth of Skechers in the Japan market.”

Inside the HaiPick System

Within Skechers’ facility, the HaiPick system covers 139,705 square feet and is operated by 69 HaiPick autonomous case-handling mobile robots (ACRs). Hai integrated these robots with Manhattan Associates’ cloud-native warehouse management system (WMS).

Hai said its ACRs are intelligent, tall pieces of equipment that autonomously navigate narrow aisles of an ASRS. The ASRS can be constructed of almost any industry-standard racking or shelving with a vertical reach extending up to 9.75 meters (32 feet).

The robots pick containers off the shelving, transporting up to 8 at any given time for maximum order-batching efficiency, and deliver them to human-operated workstations. Skechers’ HaiPick System has 8 workstations where operators receive instructions on a screen of the product and quantity to be picked to fulfill an order.

Written by

Brianna Wessling

Brianna Wessling is an Associate Editor, Robotics, WTWH Media. She joined WTWH Media in November 2021, and is a recent graduate from the University of Kansas. She can be reached at