Loblaw streamlines #BOPIS with #microfulfillment pilot project of @takeOff #robotic #technology that impressed me at #Shoptalk2019 – question remains about the financial viability of this level of …

A leading Canadian grocer will pilot automated fulfillment of its buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) offering.

Loblaw Inc. is building an automated picking facility to support its PC Express BOPIS service. Leveraging a hyperlocal fulfillment solution from Takeoff Technologies that functions in compact vertical spaces, Loblaw will launch the 12,000-sq.-ft. facility inside one of its GTA Real Canadian superstores in 2020.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: chainstoreage.com

WHY IT MATTERS: order fulfillment and delivery is the last remaining hurdle to eCommerce. Loblaws in Canada will pilot a micro-fulfillment solution from TakeOff that impressed me last year at Shoptalk. In short, they create an automated back-store where eCommerce orders are prepared with a huge amount of automation. The question remains whether the economics is better for micro-fulfillment or if centralized warehouse fulfillment with hub-and-spoke delivery is better suited for high volume / low margin eCommerce that grocery is about. Thus this "test" by Loblaws. Note that Sobeys has decided in favor of more centralized ocado-driven automated warehouse and Metro remains with the more traditional decentralized (and manual) store-based pick-pack-deliver process. Given the low volume of orders for online grocery in Canada I remain partisan of a store-based manual approach but the economics I got from TakeOff was promising. Below additional links if you want to read more about takeoff and ocado.

– http://fmcs.digital/blog/a-new-store-experience-windowless-automated-micro-warehouse-with-hyperlocal-presence-may-be-the-future-of-grocery-shopping-takeoff-solution-suggests-this-may-be-the-case-robots-ai/

– http://fmcs.digital/blog/video-of-the-inside-of-ocados-robotic-warehouse-where-thousands-of-robots-pack-groceries-retail-robots/

– https://www.takeoff.com/why-takeoff

Farid Mheir
farid@mheir.com