Optimizing For Omnichannel

How To Reinvigorate Your Existing Grocery Stores With A New Breed Of Robotics And AI

Finally SFC

The underlying math of retail maintains that a healthy store is a store that’s able to grow sales while managing costs. Grocery stores undoubtedly changed throughout the years, from full service to self-service, from small to large and back to small again, from limited assortment to supercenters to specialty, yet this foundational idea remains as powerful as ever. 

The challenge du-jour is this: 

If most of the growth in grocery comes from e-commerce, but e-commerce is hard to do at low operational costs from the store, how do we square this circle? 

To clear some Centralized Fulfillment Center (CFC) or Dark Store ideas out of the way, it is abundantly clear today that the existing, live grocery stores are THE place to run e-commerce from, for 5 key reasons:

  1. Shortest last mile
  2. Ability to offer pickup from a prominent location
  3. Existing labor force including management
  4. Better fresh goods management
  5. Real-estate, supply chain, and other synergies

The mere concept of applying robotics at the back of grocery stores to deal with e-commerce fulfillment has been around for at least 2 decades, but making it work has proven to be a very elusive task. Existing automation technologies were unfit to the store environment and infrastructure. From an infrastructure standpoint, the store network is to a very large extent unfit to have “classic” automation deployed in it for lack of supporting floor loads, ceiling heights etc., while on top of that the training level of store staff is inadequate to run complex Automated Storage Retrieval Systems (ASRS), or to troubleshoot it. Hence, the search is on for low-cost, store-fit robotic fulfillment solutions specifically designed for the complexities of grocery e-commerce driven by a seamless cooperation with live stores. 

This is exactly what we at Finally have built. 

Meet the SFCs - Store Fulfillment Centers, which excel at: 

  1. Lowest total cost-to-fulfill (as low as 5 cents per item)
  2. Smallest footprint (as little as 450 square meters)
  3. Easiest to operate with store-level staff, including built-in redundancy
  4. Software to manage SFC and in-store, long-tail picking for seamless operation
  5. Fast fulfillment to support on-demand, pickup or delivery, as well as routed vans, and many other custom grocery features. 

We are Finally, and we would love to help you turn your grocery store network Optimally Omnichannel. 

Same store. Robotic empowered.