Ahold Delhaize USA Expands its Micro-Fulfillment Robotic Technology

Peapod Digital Labs, Ahold Delhaize USA’s digital, e-commerce, and commercial engine, announced a new micro-fulfillment technology pilot with The GIANT Company in the Philadelphia market. This location is expected to fulfill approximately 15,000 online orders per week for delivery to customers’ homes.

Part of an e-commerce fulfillment center (EFC), the pilot leverages Swisslog’s solution, which includes AutoStore technology empowered by Swisslog’s SynQ software, as well as Peapod Digital Labs’ proprietary manual picking capabilities.

The pilot launches as Ahold Delhaize USA companies continue to expand e-commerce fulfillment capabilities to readying an omnichannel supply chain and supporting the U.S. brands as they pursue their ambitions of becoming the leading omnichannel grocery retailer in their markets, stated the company.

“Over the past year, all Ahold Delhaize USA companies have seen a tremendous increase in online sales growth, and we believe this growth is here to stay,” said JJ Fleeman, president of Peapod Digital Labs and Chief E-commerce Officer. “As we think about shifting consumer expectations and the future of omnichannel shopping, we must continue to build and evolve our already strong infrastructure to optimize pick-up and delivery. We’re excited to kick off this pilot with The GIANT Company and Swisslog as we continue to build out e-commerce fulfillment capabilities, which we believe will be key in supporting continued omnichannel growth.”

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The hive robotic technology for the new EFC will include the AutoStore storage and retrieval system, empowered by Swisslog’s SynQ software and pick stations, as well as Peapod Digital Labs’ proprietary manual picking capabilities, the company said.

Applying the advantages of the AutoStore grid storage density and goods-to-person productivity gains in tandem with Peapod Digital Labs’ picking system will create a flexible solution ideal for streamlining grocery e-commerce order fulfillment.

“This pilot is an exciting milestone in The GIANT Company’s omnichannel evolution as we work to transform the online grocery experience for our customers,” said Nicholas Bertram, president, The GIANT Company. “As we continue to see incredible demand for GIANT Direct across the Philadelphia region, working with Swisslog to incorporate state-of-the-art technology like AutoStore will not only bolster our overall e-commerce platform for future growth but also significantly increase our operating capacity, allowing us to deliver a faster, best-in-class experience to more customers each week.”

Ahold Delhaize USA companies informed that it would continue other micro-fulfillment tests, such as the multi-shuttle pilot with Stop & Shop and TakeOff Technologies in the Hartford, Conn., market. Additional micro-fulfillment pilots will be announced in the coming months. 

Once built, the new EFC will add to Ahold Delhaize USA companies’ growing supply chain. As of March 1, the supply chain will include 18 self-managed traditional distribution centers, 28 EFCs, and over 1,100 click and collect locations. By 2023, this network will increase to more than 27 distribution centers with additional EFC and click and collect growth as part of the omnichannel supply chain’s overall transformation.