Albertsons is teaming up with Takeoff Technologies to bring the retailer one step ahead in the e-commerce game. The two companies, using Takeoff’s artificial intelligence capabilities, are piloting a micro-fulfillment center concept. The partnership reportedly marks the first time a national grocer will implement an automated e-commerce fulfillment solution for customers.
“Takeoff is a win-win for grocers and consumers across the board,” said Max Pedro, Co-Founder and President of Takeoff. “Our eGrocery automation is a turn-key solution that uses artificial intelligence to unlock ultimate convenience for shoppers without need of charging fees or a price premium.”
According to a press release, the retailer selected Takeoff because it’s “hyper-local” automated fulfillment center model is ready for implementation straight away, is structured to use the existing supply chain and store footprint, and is flexible in picking various types of products.
“Investing in e-commerce directly benefits our customers, and anything that we can do to simplify their grocery shopping experience to save valuable time is a win,” Narayan Iyengar, SVP Digital and E-Commerce for Albertsons. “While our partnership with Takeoff Technologies will streamline e-commerce fulfillment and improve our efficiencies, we’re excited that Takeoff’s AI solution will make it even easier for customers to get their groceries how and when they want. This is a major step in our commitment to being a customer-centric player in the digital food and wellness ecosystem.”
The new pilot is set to launch in existing stores, where customers will be able to enter an order using the existing e-commerce interface to be delivered to the automated system. Takeoff will then take over the fulfillment process, using artificial intelligence-enabled technology and a system of totes and conveyors to deliver the items to an Albertsons employee who will prepare the order for the customer—greatly reducing the amount of time necessary for individual customer orders to be processed.
Will Albertsons’ new fulfillment infrastructure tilt online grocery sales in the company’s favor? Deli Market News will continue to report.