Ahold Delhaize Announces Growth in E-Commerce, Reports Surface of Robotic Store Partnership
ZAANDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - Are automated warehouses the hottest new trend in retail? Joining the likes of Albertsons—which recently announced its own automated fulfilment pilot—is Ahold Delhaize. The Netherlands-based grocery group will roll out small, automated warehouses to speed order picking and cut delivery times, according to a Reuters report, in an effort to put itself first in the e-commerce race. Chief Executive Frans Muller confirmed the deal on Wednesday.
At an investor event on November 13th, Ahold Delhaize is expected to showcase a new partnership with Takeoff—the same partner used by Albertsons—that will provide the retailer with miniature “robot supermarkets” attached to its stores to automate order collection, Reuters said. Each warehouse costs around $3 million to build, a price tag Takeoff notes is less than the cost to revamp a store.
“With the robotized solution we can optimize those picking costs and be closer with micro fulfillment to our catchment areas. We also reduce the cost of the last mile,” Muller said.
Ahold Delhaize’s deal also follows Kroger’s partnership with British e-commerce giant Ocado. As we previously reported, Kroger will disclose the locations for the first of three of 20 high-tech Ocado warehouses it plans to build on U.S. soil in the next couple of weeks. Each will take about two years to build and cost about $39 million.