Global grocer Carrefour Group has established a strategic partnership with Food X Technologies, a scalable end-to-end software solution for online grocery fulfillment, to accelerate the development of the retailer’s e-commerce capabilities. The integration will enable Carrefour to boost productivity and profitability of its operating system and create a seamless digital experience for customers and operators amid rising worldwide demand for online grocery solutions.
Under an exclusive agreement in the Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg markets, Carrefour will deploy Food X’s end-to-end software-as-a-service (SaaS) based system for online grocery management, encompassing the full range of point of order to point of fulfillment.
Belgium will be the location of Carrefour's first Central Fulfillment Centre (CFC), which will service both click-and-collect and home delivery shoppers. Food X’s software is expected to be fully integrated into Carrefour Belgium’s customer interface by the middle of next year.
As well as this pilot, Carrefour and Food X will consider developing joint initiatives in the grocer’s other markets.
First, however, the retailer will introduce Benelux customers to the Food X platform for online grocery ordering, automated fulfillment and home delivery, which consists of:
- A modular, SaaS-based platform that includes front end applications, inventory, inbound, outbound and logistics, along with a best-in-class front end web site API
- Proprietary technology regarding freshness management, fresh fulfillment and machine learning-based order planning/induction intelligence
- Intelligent packing algorithms that enable state-of-the-art vehicle space use combined with ensuring product integrity and compliance
- Consultation of Carrefour’s latest state-of-the-art warehouse designed specifically for grocery e-commerce
- JIT (Just-in-Time) management capabilities for seasonal and local items
- Last-mile routing management technology to optimize delivery-truck efficiency
- Sustainable business practices such as reduction of waste through inventory distribution, reduced plastic and reusable packaging, and alignment with Carrefour’s “Act for Food” sustainability objectives
Food X will provide a comprehensive, customized suite of support and engineering services to enable efficient and sustainable e-commerce operations. The companies will also team on continuing learning and innovation.
“We are very excited to start this tech partnership with Food X, which will boost the efficiency of our e-commerce operations,” said Amélie Oudéa-Castera, head of the customer, data and tech division at Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based Carrefour, which operates a multiformat network of more than 12,000 stores in 30-plus countries, employing more than 320,000 associates. “It will allow us, in one of our key markets, to pilot innovative ways to achieve a profitable, scalable and sustainable online business while delivering an outstanding experience to our customers.”
“We are very pleased to be working with Carrefour, one of the world’s leading grocery retailers,” noted said Peter van Stolk, CEO of Vancouver, British Columbia-based Food X. “Carrefour is recognized for their innovation and focus on critical initiatives to support their customers, and we are proud that they have chosen us to develop an advanced, efficient online grocery business in Belgium at a time when the positive impact of our technology has never been more apparent.”
When asked by Progressive Grocer, van Stolk said that the Carrefour pilot would launch in Q1 2021, which is also when Food X expects to bring its e-commerce solution to the United States, although the executive provided no further details on which retailers would deploy it.
Food X’s software also powers Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery’s (SPUD.ca) integrated food business ecosystem encompassing online retail, community retail locations, food preparation services, wholesale and last-mile distribution. Adrienne Uy, CFO and COO of Burnaby, British Columbia-based SPUD, was chosen by PG as a 2019 Top Woman in Grocery.