Grocers, Retailers Drawn to Speed, Proximity of in-Store Micro-Fulfillment


As grocers and retailers work to improve the speed and ease of their order fulfillment capabilities, many are looking to boost their tech and handling capabilities with in-store micro-fulfillment rather than at giant remote warehouses.

According to Israel-based startup Get Fabric, the trend of localizing fulfillment is seeing more customers choosing to implement its technology within existing facilities.

“[Retail customers] were telling us, ‘We understand that you’re trying to sell service, but what we want is to power your platform, or your system, with our teams on our premises,’” Get Fabric CEO Avi “Jack” Jacoby told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in a Wednesday (Sept 28) interview.

While grocers and retailers adopted micro-fulfillment centers to deliver online orders during the pandemic, many are now choosing to do so from their existing stores, without a third party between them and their customers, and to offer pickup at stores as customers return to in-person shopping, according to the report.

At the time of publication, Fabric had not responded to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

As PYMNTS reported Aug. 27, Walmart and DoorDash recently ended their relationship after four years of the retailer offering on-demand delivery on the aggregator’s marketplace, and the decision could have something to do with Walmart’s moves in recent years to put itself in competition with leading delivery providers.

Read more: Walmart Now Growing Threat to Delivery Aggregators

Similarly, in October 2021, Kroger announced that it was working to create several new automated warehouses as part of an initiative to grow its vertically integrated network of fulfillment centers featuring picking and packing robots and machine-learning planned delivery routes.

See more: Grocers Aim to Escape Reliance on Instacart With in-House eCommerce Fulfillment

PYMNTS research has found that eCommerce is an increasingly relevant part of how consumers get their shopping needs met.

Read more: Who’s Going Connected Grocery Shopping This Weekend?

Between the first and second quarters of the year, the score for usage of online grocery shopping channels rose from 22.7 to 23.2, while that for usage of online shopping edged up from 28.3 to 28.5, according to PYMNTS’ study “How the World Does Digital: The Impact of Payments on Digital Transformation.”

For all PYMNTS retail coverage, subscribe to the daily Retail Newsletter.