Walmart is expanding its successful pilot of store-based, high-tech “local fulfillment centers.”
Initially piloted at a Walmart supercenter in Salem, N.H. in mid-2019, a local fulfillment center (LFC) is a compact, modular warehouse built within or added to a store. The centers can store fresh and frozen items, as well as thousands of other high-volume products. Instead of an associate walking the store to fulfill an order from our shelves, automated bots retrieve the items from within the center. The items are then brought to a picking workstation for fast order assembly.
Albertsons, a major grocery rival of Walmart, is running a similar “micro-fulfillment” center pilot supported by a hyperlocal fulfillment solution from Takeoff Technologies. Leading grocer Kroger is partnering with U.K. online grocery platform Ocado to develop a nationwide network of automated micro-fulfillment “customer fulfillment centers” (CDC), as well as software to automate in-store fulfillment.Chain Storeage