Boise, ID (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - Albertsons Companies and Takeoff Technologies are teaming up to collaborate on the future of grocery micro-fulfillment centers (MFC). The two companies have decided to form a strategic partnership with dedicated teams to collaborate on the evolution of microfulfillment capabilities to drive the future of e-commerce order fulfillment.
Albertsons Cos., which operates stores in 8 out of 10 of the largest MSA’s in the United States, has also agreed to purchase additional MFCs from Takeoff and is evaluating market expansion opportunities. Albertsons Cos. and Takeoff worked closely together on the successful implementation of the company’s first MFC in South San Francisco in October 2019.
“The micro-fulfillment center model is a key element in the store of the future,” said Vivek Sankaran, Albertsons Companies President and Chief Executive Officer. “It combines the efficiency of automation with the ease of meeting customers when and how they want to shop. In working with Takeoff, we can evolve how the MFC ties into our store and e-commerce ecosystems and accelerate our path to best serve our customers.”
Albertsons Cos. and Takeoff Technologies began their partnership in 2018 with the announcement of two pilot micro-fulfillment centers that would be constructed in existing grocery stores. Albertsons Cos. began operating its first pilot unit on Oct. 23 at a Safeway in South San Francisco. Another pilot unit is scheduled to begin operations at a Safeway in San Jose, CA before the end of 2019.
“We are thrilled to broaden our partnership with Albertsons Cos., a clear leader in grocery retailing and a key player shaping the future of eGroceries,” added Max Pedró, co-founder and president of Takeoff. “With our strategic partnership, we’re confident we’ll be able to add significant value to their business and consumers as we work in partnership to define the future of e-commerce.”
Micro-fulfillment centers bring together the proximity of brick-and-mortar stores with the automation capabilities of a large warehouse. Located inside an existing store, micro-fulfillment centers typically hold about 15,000 to 18,000 of the local market’s most popular products.
“In collaborating with Takeoff, we’re able to leverage their thought leadership in e-commerce fulfillment with our expertise in running great grocery stores that meet customers’ everyday needs, and that’s exciting turf for us,” said Chris Rupp, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer and Digital Officer at Albertsons. “By placing an MFC in an existing store close to customers, we can carry a diverse and locally relevant selection of products with the friendly touch of our local team to service the customer.”
According to research by Takeoff Technologies, micro-fulfillment centers increase productivity by up to ten times through improved speed, productivity, accuracy, and efficiency. By providing real-time information about inventory, robotic fulfillment can greatly reduce or even eliminate product substitutions.
“We are living in historic times. The grocery industry is transforming its way into the future, and the winners will be the ones getting it right first. Albertsons Cos.’ move to expand its micro-fulfillment capability is a clear testament of such transformation,” said José V. Aguerrevere, co-founder and chief executive officer of Takeoff.
About Albertsons Companies
Locally great and nationally strong, Albertsons Companies is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States. Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, and Carrs. Albertsons Cos. is committed to helping people across the country live better lives by making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood. In 2018 alone, along with the Albertsons Companies Foundation, the Company gave over $262 million in food and financial support. These efforts helped millions of people in the areas of hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, programs for people with disabilities and veterans outreach.
About Takeoff Technologies:
Takeoff is an eGrocery solution that empowers retailers to attain profitable online growth by leveraging automation at a hyperlocal scale. Orders are placed online through established retailers (whether using their existing eCommerce platform or Takeoff’s customized UI solution) and Takeoff’s automated technology fulfills the order using robots in Micro Fulfilment Centers. The company was co-founded by José V. Aguerrevere and Max Pedró in 2016, and recently closed its Series C financing led by Forrestal Capital, taking the total capital raised to $86M. The company’s robotics technology is proven and ready to deploy at scale thanks to Takeoff’s exclusivity partnership with Knapp, a leading global provider of automated warehouse solutions. By leveraging automated Micro Fulfillment Centers, Takeoff’s innovative model operates at a much lower cost-to-serve than other eCommerce platforms, solving for both the cost of assembling the order and cost of the last mile. This results in savings for both shoppers and retail partners. For more information, visit takeoff.com.
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