E-grocery solutions provider Takeoff Technologies is partnering with Australian supermarket chain Woolworths Group to implement three automated micro-fulfillment centers over the next 12 months, the companies said Tuesday. The location of the three sites is still to be determined, the companies also said.
Waltham, Mass.-based Takeoff builds compact, automated micro-fulfillment centers designed to speed and streamline online grocery fulfillment. The Woolworths partnership comes on the heels of the firm's opening of a New Jersey micro-fulfillment center for food cooperative Wakefern Food Corp. in July and last fall's announced partnership with Miami-based supermarket chain Sedano's.
Woolworths will implement Takeoff's standard fulfillment solution, which typically covers about 10,000 square feet, according to a Takeoff spokesperson. The micro-fulfillment center, which uses a combination of robotics and other automation technology, helps companies meet growing demand for online grocery shopping by moving products closer the picker, saving them the time it takes to walk up and down aisles to locate products. It speeds fulfillment time and helps get products to customers even faster, the companies said.
"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," Brad Banducci, Woolworths Group CEO, said in a statement announcing the partnership. "We see the future of online delivery as a mix of our large-scale fulfillment centers in major metropolitan areas and a localized approach that leverages the strength of our national store network."
Woolworths Group is based in New South Wales, Australia, and operates 3,000 stores in Australia and New Zealand.