This week Countdown unveiled a micro-fulfilment centre in its Penrose e-store.
The centre comprises of state-of-the-art automated storage units that hold up to 11,000 grocery products. This allows Countdown’s personal shoppers to access in-demand non-perishable goods without having to walk up and down different aisles. Perishables and fresh food like fruit, deli & bakery goods, vegetables and meat will continue to be hand-selected to order.
Countdown’s Acting Managing Director, Sally Copland, says “micro-fulfilment technology will help us pull together packaged goods in minutes, saving our personal shoppers precious time to select quality fresh produce, meat and other perishable items. Our expert personal shoppers are trained to shop as carefully as they would when shopping for their own families, and now they’ll be able to serve twice as many customers with that same attention to detail. The technology is designed to help us deliver unparalleled speed and accuracy, and also keep us close to our customers for faster and more flexible home deliveries. This speed is key to increasing the availability of same-day deliveries that more and more of our customers want”.
The micro-fulfilment centre is provided by Boston-based Takeoff Technologies. As well as Penrose, Countdown Moorhouse (Christchurch) will trial the technology upon its opening in March this year.
Prior to the centre installation, the Penrose e-store was able to fulfil more than 7,500 orders per week. Now, this capacity has increased up to 15,000 orders per week.
“We’re thrilled to deliver the micro-fulfilment element to increase efficiency, reduce pressure on our personal shopping team and get deliveries to our customers even faster”, says Copland.
Other innovations Countdown have recently implemented include an in-store and fully contactless Scan&Go service complete with AI technology that recognises fresh produce at the scales.