E-commerce could eventually comprise 20% of Albertsons’ business, which would be beneficial for the company because it is able to connect better with consumers when they make purchases digitally, Sankaran said. But it also requires a lot of adjustments to improve the economics of its backend operations.
Sankaran said Albertsons has recently rethought the picking, slotting and scheduling algorithms that underlie its e-commerce operations. The company has offloaded delivery to third-party providers in certain markets. It is also determined to lower the cost of picking an order — which is where MFC technology comes into play. Albertsons, which has been piloting two MFCs for a little over a year, intends to open seven new facilities during 2021, Sankaran said.
He noted that MFCs are especially beneficial in dense areas and said he sees a single facility serving between six and 10 stores. He declined to say how many MFCs he expects Albertsons to ultimately open across its fleet of more than 2,200 supermarkets.Grocery Dive