More stability during seasonal peaks?
Let’s discuss the possibilities together!


A logistics challenge

Retail & e-commerce combined in one warehouse

Smyths toys, in Walsrode (DE)

After Toys ‘R’ Us were taken over by Smyths Toys in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, a new centrally located warehouse was needed in Germany to serve both the company’s own stores and the private customers using the online shop. A great logistics challenge!

The challenge

Scalability & smart exchange retail and e-commerce

Smyths Toys was looking for a total solution for this new warehouse. A combination of hardware and software was needed which enables a smart exchange between retail and e-commerce. The warehouse layout had to be able to handle high peaks during Christmas and Black-Friday, scalability plays a major role in the realization of the warehouse.

Conveyor sorter

The solution

Smart hardware & software

Optimal coordination between the WMS, ERP and hardware is crucial. Because these systems work together continuously, they always show the location of items in the warehouse and where items need to be delivered: replenishment for retail, replenishment of e-commerce inventory, order picking or shipping of goods.

How does the WMS work at Smyths Toys?

At Smyths toys, the warehouse serves both retail and e-commerce. The WMS takes care of the entire internal transport. The WMS has insight into the stock; where & how many items are present. The software also controls the hardware, so that the items are transported internally in the right way.
The link with the stores, webshop and transporters is made by linking the WMS to the ERP system (SAP). For example, the routes for the trucks and associated docks are linked to the nearest conveyor (chute).

Always have insight into current stock?
Let’s talk about smart software possibilities!

Costo software

Retail & e-commerce:
inbound & replenishment

For inbound, articles are scanned with a handterminal upon entry. The WMS determines the storage location within the warehouse via the set strategies. The WMS then controls the hand terminals and the VNAs (very narrow aisle forklift trucks) of the inbound employees.

VNAs provide high-density storage
The VNA (very narrow aisle) drivers see on their screen which pallets they have to pick up and where, and the location to which they must take them. The use of VNAs, in which the forklift’s forks can be turned sideways, saves a lot of space and enables high storage density.

Conveyors for automated intern transport
The stock of the web shop is stored separately and conveyors are used to move items to the stock of the web shop. In the webshop area, the stock is tailored to the demand of the webshop.

Items can also be transported from the inbound or warehouse via the conveyor to the correct chute for the store in question.

WMS for webshop

The WMS prepares orders A to Z for transport and ensures that the right package reaches the right carrier. Conveyors play an important role in this. Many boxes go over these conveyors simultaneously. In order to deliver each order at the right time and in the right order, the WMS controls the priority of boxes on the conveyors.

Order preparation

Preparing the order starts with a suitable box. The software controls the carton erector for this purpose. A box should not contain unnecessary “air”, but there should be enough space to combine items from the same order. After the box is filled, the box automatically receives the correct barcode through the label applicator and proceeds to the order picking process.


The box with label goes via conveyors up one floor to the zone picking system. The WMS sends the box in the right order along the zones; first along the articles with the largest size and weight, then along the lighter/smaller articles, thus creating the right pressure distribution.

By using zones for order picking, order pickers never have to walk far or lift anything. This increases the efficiency of the order picking process and improves working conditions.

Pick to light

Smyths Toys uses the pick to light system, where orderpickers see a lit light next to the articles they have to pick. Pick to light is the ideal solution for employees with various language backgrounds.

Packing & checking
When the order is complete, it goes via conveyors to the pack & check stations where the orders are checked and packed.

Costo Intralogistics
pick to light

More stability during seasonal peaks?
Let’s discuss the possibilities together!



The WMS links the articles placed on the conveyor to the orders and corresponding truck routes. Based on this, conveyors are controlled and these items are moved to the correct chute. There the boxes are placed on a pallet: on their way to the stores.
The orders for the web shop arrive directly via separate conveyors at the dock of the correct carrier where the truck is ready to be loaded!

Sorter conveyor
Costo Intralogistics

The result

Stock at the right level, even in peak periods

The smart software provides insight into the stock for both retail and the webshop. The combination of seamlessly coordinated hardware and software provides insight into the stock of retail and e-commerce and can easily be supplemented. This ensures that the actual stock is at the right level and that the peak periods can be absorbed. By dividing order picking with zone picking and supporting it with pick-to-light, the effectiveness of order picking has increased.

Expertise van COSTO in de praktijk

De opdrachtgever aan het woord

labelling boxes
Smyths toys warehouse walsrode drone photo

COSTO Intralogistics expertise in practice

Get inspired by our realized projects!


Contact our specialists

Would you also like to start a successful collaboration for your logistics solutions? Contact one of our specialists and we will be happy to help you with your challenges!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.