Boise, ID, Oct. 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Albertsons Companies today announced it is partnering with Takeoff Technologies to pilot the micro-fulfillment center concept and Takeoff’s artificial intelligence capabilities, making it the first national grocer to implement an automated eCommerce fulfillment solution for customers.

“Investing in e-commerce directly benefit our customers, and anything that we can do to simplify their grocery shopping experience to save valuable time is a win,” said Narayan Iyengar, SVP Digital and eCommerce at Albertsons Cos. “While our partnership with Takeoff Technologies will streamline eCommerce fulfillment and improve our efficiencies, we’re excited that Takeoff’s AI solution will make it even easier for customers to get their groceries how and when they want. This is a major step in our commitment to being a customer-centric player in the digital food and wellness ecosystem.”

Takeoff’s “hyper-local” automated fulfillment center will be piloted in an existing store.  Just like our store shelves are stocked frequently, the machine will be replenished daily. A customer will enter an order using the existing eCommerce interface, and the order will be delivered to the automated system. Takeoff will then take over the fulfillment process, using artificial intelligence-enabled technology and a system of totes and conveyors to deliver the items to an Albertsons Cos. employee, who will prepare the order for the customer, greatly reducing the amount of time necessary for individual customer orders to be processed.

Albertsons Cos. chose Takeoff Technologies because it is ready for implementation today, the model is structured to use the existing supply chain and store footprint, and its flexibility in picking various types of products.

“Takeoff is a win-win for grocers and consumers across the board,” said Max Pedro, co-founder and president of Takeoff. “Our eGrocery automation is a turn-key solution that uses artificial intelligence to unlock ultimate convenience for shoppers without need of charging fees or a price premium.”

About Albertsons Companies
Albertsons Companies is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, with both a strong local presence and national scale. We operate stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as meal kit company Plated based in New York City. Albertsons Companies is committed to helping people across the country live better lives by making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood. In 2017 alone, along with the Albertsons Companies Foundation, the company gave nearly $300 million in food and financial support. These efforts helped millions of people in the areas of hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, programs for people with disabilities and veterans outreach.

About Takeoff:
Takeoff is an eGrocery solution that empowers retailers to attain profitable online growth by leveraging automation at a hyperlocal scale. Orders are placed online through established retailers (whether using their existing eCommerce platform or Takeoff’s customized UI solution) and Takeoff’s automated technology fulfills the order using robots in Micro Fulfilment Centers. 

The company’s robotics technology is proven and ready to deploy thanks to Takeoff’s exclusivity agreement with Knapp, a leading global provider of automated warehouse solutions. By leveraging automated Micro Fulfillment Centers, Takeoff’s innovative model operates at a much lower cost-to-serve than other eCommerce platforms, solving for both the cost of assembling the order and cost of the last mile. This results in savings for both shoppers and retail partners.

Important Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This release may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws.  Forward-looking statements contain information about future operating or financial performance. Forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current expectations and assumptions about market conditions and its future operating performance which we believe to be reasonable at this time.  The words “expect,” “believe,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan” and similar expressions indicate forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions (including assumptions about general economic, market, industry and operational factors), known or unknown, which could cause the actual results to vary materially from those indicated or anticipated.  A further list and description of risks and uncertainties can be found in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 24, 2018 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and other documents that the Company may file or furnish with the SEC, which you are encouraged to read. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate only to the date they were made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date they were made except as required by law or applicable regulation.

Attachments

Lynda Friesz-Martin
Albertsons Companies
208-395-5157
Lynda.Friesz-Martin@albertsons.com

Lucia Bower
Head of Deployment, Takeoff Technologies
lucia@takeoff.com