First mini robotic fulfilment centre in US set to launch

Date : 03 October 2018

Florida-based Sedano's Supermarkets is partnering with Takeoff Technologies to launch an automated, hyperlocal fulfilment centre for grocery ecommerce.

Aiming to reduce cost and time to fulfil ecommerce orders

Sedano's Supermarkets is one of the largest Hispanic grocers in the US, operating 23 stores in the Miami area. Takeoff’s automated solution uses robots enabled with artificial intelligence to build customer orders. In partnership with store associates, baskets of up to 60 items can be assembled in just a few minutes, significantly reducing the time and cost compared to manual picking. The first fulfilment centre, which is scheduled to open in the next few months, will serve 14 of Sedano's locations.

Source: Takeoff

Compact solution enables retailers to repurpose existing space

Takeoff is aiming to develop hyperlocal fulfilment centres that have one-eighth the footprint of a typical supermarket due to innovative robotics and compact vertical spaces. The compact nature of the solution means that retailers can repurpose existing stores by turning them into micro distribution centres. The company is working with five regional and national retail chains in the US, with several sites expected to launch next year.

To support the company’s development, James McCann, former CEO of Ahold USA, is joining the business as a member of Takeoff’s Advisory Board and as an investor. The company has also closed a new round of financing led by Forrestal Capital, taking the total capital raised to $46M.

Robotic solutions at Walmart and Kroger

Recently, Walmart announced that it is partnering with Alert Innovation to pilot an in-store robotic picking system for grocery ecommerce orders. The Alphabot technology is to be piloted at a supercenter in Salem, New Hampshire. The technology, which has been developed specifically for Walmart, will be housed in a 20,000 sq ft extension connected to the store.

Earlier this year, Kroger announced a strategic partnership with Ocado which will see them jointly develop up to 20 automated fulfilment centres for grocery ecommerce in the US. These will optimise Ocado’s technology-led solutions.

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