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Albertsons yesterday announced a strategic partnership with Takeoff Technologies to develop micro-fulfillment centers that will power its e-commerce business, expanding on a relationship that started earlier this year.

The two companies will form dedicated teams "to collaborate on the evolution of the micro-fulfillment capabilities to drive the future of e-commerce order fulfillment.
Albertsons Cos., which operates stores in 8 out of 10 of the largest MSA’s in the United States, has also agreed to purchase additional MFCs from Takeoff and is evaluating market expansion opportunities. Albertsons Cos. and Takeoff worked closely together on the successful implementation of the company’s first MFC in South San Francisco in October 2019."

Takeoff Technologies maintains that "micro-fulfillment centers increase productivity by up to ten times through improved speed, productivity, accuracy, and efficiency. By providing real-time information about inventory, robotic fulfillment can greatly reduce or even eliminate product substitutions."

“The micro-fulfillment center model is a key element in the store of the future,” said Vivek Sankaran, Albertsons president/CEO, in a prepared statement. “It combines the efficiency of automation with the ease of meeting customers when and how they want to shop. In working with Takeoff, we can evolve how the MFC ties into our store and e-commerce ecosystems and accelerate our path to best serve our customers.”
KC's View:
I'm a huge fan of the current trend toward things like micro-fulfillment centers, flexible formats, dark stores, and ghost kitchens … it seems to me that in many ways, they provide businesses with ways to be more nimble and reactive to changes in the marketplace. Business leaders need to be looking for the alternatives that give them the greatest number of options and flexibility, so they can move fast when the situation calls for it.

And these days, the situation almost always calls for it.