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Albertsons Cos. To Pilot AI-Driven Micro-Fulfillment Center

A rendering of a Takeoff Technologies fulfillment center.
A rendering of a Takeoff Technologies fulfillment center.

Albertsons Cos. is partnering with Takeoff Technologies to pilot its micro-fulfillment center concept and artificial intelligence capabilities. The partnership makes Albertsons the first national grocer to implement an automated e-commerce fulfillment solution for customers, the retailer says.

“Investing in e-commerce directly benefit our customers, and anything that we can do to simplify their grocery shopping experience to save valuable time is a win,” said Narayan Iyengar, SVP digital and e-commerce at Albertsons Cos. “While our partnership with Takeoff Technologies will streamline e-commerce fulfillment and improve our efficiencies, we’re excited that Takeoff’s AI solution will make it even easier for customers to get their groceries how and when they want. This is a major step in our commitment to being a customer-centric player in the digital food and wellness ecosystem.”

Takeoff’s “hyper-local” automated fulfillment center will be piloted in an existing store and will be replenished daily. Customers will enter orders online using the existing e-commerce interface, and the order will be delivered to the automated system. Takeoff then will take over the fulfillment process, using artificial intelligence-enabled technology and a system of totes and conveyors to deliver the items to an Albertsons Cos. employee, who will prepare the order for the customer, reducing the amount of time necessary for individual customer orders to be processed.

Albertsons says it chose Takeoff Technologies because it’s system is ready for implementation today; the model is structured to use the existing supply chain and store footprint; and it offers flexibility in picking various types of products.

“Takeoff is a win-win for grocers and consumers across the board,” said Max Pedro, co-founder and president of Takeoff. “Our e-grocery automation is a turn-key solution that uses artificial intelligence to unlock ultimate convenience for shoppers without need of charging fees or a price premium.”

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