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Ahold ups stakes in U.S. grocery war with mini-'robot supermarkets'


Added 11-07-18 04:03:02am EST - “Grocery group Ahold Delhaize will roll out small, automated warehouses to speed ...” - Reuters.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reuters.com: “Ahold ups stakes in U.S. grocery war with mini-"robot supermarkets"”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Grocery group Ahold Delhaize (AD.AS) will roll out small, automated warehouses to speed order picking and cut delivery times, Reuters has learned, as it revamps its ecommerce business in response to rising competition in a fast-growing sector.

At an investor event on Nov. 13, the world’s eighth biggest food retailer is set to announce a partnership that will allow it to automate order collection at mini “robot supermarkets” attached to the stores of its U.S. chains like Stop & Shop.

That marks a departure from its previous strategy of relying more on manual labor at bigger warehouses, or on a mixture of man and machine, to meet online food orders.

Now Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize is teaming up with Takeoff, a start-up which builds small warehouses that stack groceries to the ceiling to save space and use robot arms to assemble shoppers’ orders for items such as beer, milk, bread and fruit.

The warehouses serve as condensed supermarkets that can supply several stores with click-and-collect orders. They cost about $3 million to build, which Takeoff says is less than the cost of a typical store revamp.

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