August 21, 2019

Parcel locker provider targets online grocery sector

Parcel locker provider targets online grocery sector

Cleveron launches robotic click-and-collect station for efficient food fulfillment.

By DC Velocity Staff

Parcel locker and fulfillment robotics provider Cleveron AS has launched an automated street-front locker system for groceries that supports robotic click-and-collect orders, offering an efficient alternative to home delivery, the firm said today.

The Estonia-based company's "Cleveron 501" product is an automated food locker that could make grocery click-and-collect cheaper, faster, and more convenient for both grocers and consumers, in comparison to buy online pickup in store (BOPIS), or home delivery practices, the firm said.

The product enables shoppers to pick up their online grocery orders in just 20 seconds and supports two temperature zones in a single, truck-sized container that can be located outside supermarkets, in suburbs, parking lots, or busy urban centers. Cleveron says its robotic pick up solution will enable grocers to drastically reduce the staff time needed for curbside pick-up and the costs associated with other parcel delivery options like overnight and two-day delivery.

Cleveron has teamed up in the past with parcel-fulfillment firm Bell and Howell LLC to distribute its "PackRobot" intelligent locker for U.S. applications such as retail e-commerce, brick-and-mortar click-and-collect, BOPIS, and campus package delivery and returns. Those "Pickup Towers" are installed in more than 100 Walmart locations, with plans to add more units.

The latest Cleveron device targets the fast-growing sector of online grocery fulfillment, which was highlighted by Inc.'s 2017 of Whole Foods Market as well as grocer The Kroger Co.'s partnership with British retailer and technology provider Ocado Group plc. The sector is on track to continue expansion, with U.S. online food and beverage sales forecast to grow 18.2 percent to $19.89 billion in 2019, and to more than quadruple by 2023, Cleveron said.

Chasing that huge market, the Cleveron 501 platform is the first grocery robot for Cleveron, whose parcel robots and lockers are used in 22 countries, issuing 1.3 million parcels every month, the company says.

"Time is one of the most valuable resources, and it shouldn't be wasted queuing in stores or waiting for a courier at home. With Cleveron 501 you can pick up your everyday groceries whenever and wherever it is suitable for you," Cleveron CEO Arno Kütt said in a release. "The potential for grocery robots is also tremendous - grocery delivery can now move closer to the consumers and offer a much-needed service in places where it has previously been unattainable, like in business districts, where there is not enough room for supermarkets."

To install the Cleveron 501, a grocer needs a footprint the size of an average parking space, with a solid surface and access to a power cord and a network cable. Customers can then operate the unit by scanning or entering their order code at the attached console, then collecting their groceries when a robot presents their carton. According to Cleveron, that flexibility lets grocers offer 24-hour, convenient self-service outdoor pick-up service right where their customers are.

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