Albertsons Expands E-Commerce Partnership with Takeoff Technologies
BOISE, ID - Albertsons Companies is eager to stay on the cutting-edge of the industry, investigating and investing in new avenues of innovative growth. The retailer has partnered with Takeoff Technologies since 2018 and has since placed its focus on micro-fulfillment centers (MFC). Albertsons is continuing at full speed to collaborate with the tech company on more and better MFCs, including those it plans to purchase from Takeoff, and the ones yet to be constructed.
“The micro-fulfillment center model is a key element in the store of the future,” said Vivek Sankaran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Albertsons. “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.”
Leading the way in e-commerce fulfillment space, Albertsons operates stores in eight out of the ten largest MFC’s in the U.S., according to a press release, and has agreed to purchase more MFCs from Takeoff. While evaluating market expansion opportunities, Albertsons and Takeoff continue to collaborate, which has already resulted in the successful implementation of the company’s first MFC in South San Francisco in October of this year.
Albertsons and Takeoff kicked off their partnership in 2018 with plans for two pilot micro-fulfillment centers that would be built in existing Albertsons stores. The first pilot began on October 23, at a South San Francisco Safeway location. Another pilot is expected to begin operations at a San Jose Safeway location before the end of 2019.
“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 for 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.”
MFCs are said to combine the proximity of brick-and-mortar stores with the automation capabilities of large warehouses. The MFCs are located inside existing stores and can hold approximately 15,000 to 18,000 of the most popular products from the store’s local market.
“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,” Max Pedró, Co-Founder and President of Takeoff, commented. “With our strategic partnership, we’re confident we’ll be able to add significant value to its business and consumers as we work in partnership to define the future of e-commerce.”
Takeoff Technologies reports that the MFCs increase productivity by up to ten times due to the accuracy, improved speed, and efficiency they provide. Because the MFCs offer real-time inventory information, 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.
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