Wakefern Opens New Automated Fulfillment Center

Retailer-owned grocery cooperative Wakefern Food Corp. opened its first automated fulfillment center in Clifton, NJ, to enhance its online shopping service.

Wakefern partnered with Takeoff Technologies, creator of the first automated micro-compliance centers (MFC) to build the 24,300-square-foot mini-warehouse, where online orders will be filled for 10 ShopRite stores in northern New Jersey and New York, according to a press release.

Takeoff Technologies’ hyperlocal fulfillment centers increase speed and lower costs for retailers while improving the overall customer experience for online grocery shopping.

The automated technology uses advanced robotics in the fulfilment center, where orders of up to 60 grocery items can be assembled in minutes, increasing efficiency and ensuring customers get their online orders quickly.

“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, Wakefern’s vice president of Digital Commerce & Analytics. “We are really proud of our eGrocery shopping platform, ShopRite from Home and believe this partnership will enhance our online shopping service.”

Wakefern is at the forefront of the growing online grocery market through its ShopRite from Home program, which currently offers clients pick-up and home delivery services across most ShopRite store locations. The new partnership with Takeoff will expand Wakefern’s capabilities to deliver top-notch eGrocery service and value under a scalable model.

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The change with the automated fulfillment center will be seamless for customers as they continue to place orders through ShopRite from Home.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Wakefern to help make their eGrocery service even better,” said Jose Aguerrevere, CEO and co-founder of Takeoff. “Our hyperlocal approach and technology results in lower packaging costs and high last mile efficiency.”

Founded in 1946, Wakefern Food Corp., comprises 50 members who today 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.

The retailer-owned grocery cooperative employs more than 70,000 people and is one of the largest employers in New Jersey.

Takeoff Technologies and Wakefern have an agreement in place to open additional sites in the future.