Wakefern to Debut Automated Fulfillment Center
Retailer-owned grocery cooperative Wakefern Food Corp. has joined forces with Takeoff Technologies, creator of the world’s first automated micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs), to open a fulfillment center in Clifton, N.J. Takeoff’s hyperlocal fulfillment centers increase speed and lower costs for retailers while improving the overall ecommerce experience for customers.
“We are excited to partner with Takeoff Technologies to see how their hyperlocal automation technology will benefit our cooperative, retail members and shoppers,” said Steve P. Henig, VP of digital commerce and analytics for Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern. “We are really proud of our e-grocery shopping platform, ShopRite from Home, and believe this partnership will enhance our online shopping service.”
ShopRite from Home program currently offers shoppers pickup and home delivery services across most of the banner’s locations. The partnership with Takeoff aims to expand the co-op’s ability to deliver superior e-grocery service and value under a scalable model.
The new fulfillment center will serve select ShopRite stores operated by Wakefern member Inserra Supermarkets in northern New Jersey and in New York. The change will be seamless for the chain's customers as they continue to place orders via ShopRite from Home.
Takeoff’s automated technology uses advanced robotics in the fulfilment center, where orders of up to 60 grocery items can be assembled in minutes, boosting efficiency and ensuring that customers get their online orders quickly.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Wakefern to help make their e-grocery service even better,” said Jose Aguerrevere, CEO and co-founder of Waltham, Mass.-based Takeoff, which has also worked on automated ecommerce fulfillment projects with Albertsons, Sedano’s and Stop & Shop. “Our hyperlocal approach and technology results in lower packaging costs and high last-mile efficiency.”
Added Takeoff co-founder and President Max Pedro: “Our e-grocery automation is a turnkey, scalable solution that uses robotics to unlock convenience for shoppers without the need to charge extra fees. It’s a win-win for grocers and shoppers.”
Takeoff and Wakefern’s partnership includes an agreement in place to open additional sites in the future.
The largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, Wakefern comprises 50 members that independently own and operate 353 supermarkets under the ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite Marketplace and Dearborn Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Virginia. Together with its member companies, Wakefern, which is No. 8 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States, employs more than 70,000 people, and is one of the largest employers in New Jersey.