Woolworths Group and Takeoff Technologies announced plans this week to implement automated micro fulfillment capabilities at an initial three sites to help meet customers' growing demand for shopping online.
The implementation of Takeoff’s automated solution will begin within the next 12 months, with Woolworths Group to then evaluate the suitability of the technology for further roll-out.
Takeoff Technologies is an eGrocery startup, based in Boston, USA, that builds compact, automated micro fulfillment centres. Using a store’s existing footprint to improve online operations, the automation minimises the space required by using innovative technology that functions in compact vertical spaces.
The Takeoff technology is designed to meet the growing demand for online shopping by moving products closer to the picker - saving team members from walking up and down the aisles to locate products.
Brad Banducci, Woolworths Group CEO said: “Our customer expectations are changing rapidly, with more and more turning to online shopping to help them in their busy lives.
“At Woolworths, we are continuing to look for ways to enhance our customers' online experience, especially the speed at which we make orders available to them.
“This partnership with Takeoff will allow us to deliver ultra convenience at a local level, with the ability to be even closer to the customer for that last mile delivery.
“We see the future of online delivery as a mix of our large scale fulfillment centres in major metropolitan areas and a localised approach that leverages the strength of our national store network.
“We’re excited to see how this partnership develops, helping us accelerate our customer offering with faster order picking, while also enhancing the overall shopping experience.”
The initial three Woolworths Group store locations for the use of Takeoff’s technology are yet to be determined, but may include supermarkets and drinks.
Woolworths Group is the exclusive partner of Takeoff Technologies in this market.
Jose Vicente Aguerrevere, co-founder and CEO of Takeoff: “We are thrilled to partner with Woolworths Group. They are a major player in the online grocery and drinks sector and our solution provides them with the perfect platform to continue to evolve their eCommerce operations and meet customers’ changing needs. We look forward to a very successful deployment of our partnership.”