Rouses Markets is looking to drones to help solve the last-mile delivery challenges many grocers are facing as e-commerce orders increase. The Gulf Coast food retailer has partnered with Deuce Drone for a delivery pilot program this fall with an Aerial Drone Delivery Interface System (ADDIS) at the Rouses on Airport Boulevard in Mobile, Alabama.
"Drone delivery offers the fastest, safest delivery store to door. We should be able to get groceries to customers in 30 minutes or even less," said Donny Rouse, CEO of Rouses Markets. "Plus it’s more cost efficient, meaning we can save customers time and money."
Rhett Ross, CEO of Deuce Drone, says Rouses is an ideal test case for his company’s last-mile delivery solution because of its footprint, and commitment to being first with everything.
Rouses already offers personal shopping and delivery services that allow customers to shop online and get deliveries in as little as an hour, but drones could cut this time in half, or faster.
Deuce Drone, with its aerospace, construction and technology experts, is responsible for the design of ADDIS, including its automated operation of the landing, recharging and package handling systems. All portions of the drone and the related activities of ADDIS meet or exceed federal, state and local regulations and codes.
Rouses has 64 stores in Louisiana, along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in lower Alabama. The company is No. 80 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food retailers in North America.