Grocery Delivery Digest

March 9, 2021

Ian Cook, Managing Editor

The grocery delivery industry is developing all the time! What clearer evidence of this phenomenon than the variety of news that was released this week. Let’s start with Albertson’s: they’re testing a series of remote controlled robots with Tortoise to see if they’ll be apt delivery drivers. After a very successful 2020, Kroger is continuing to expand their partnership with Ocado. And although nothing is official yet, could we see an Instacart supermarket?

Stay tuned for developments with these stories and many others. Thank you for supporting us! We hope you enjoy your Grocery Delivery Digest.

Issue #46

Kroger's Ocado Facility Delivers First Load

The first robotically-prepared online grocery order in The Kroger Co.’s 137-year history whizzed out the door of a newly constructed high-tech warehouse this week, marking the “soft opening” for the retailer’s multimillion e-commerce partnership with the British technology company Ocado.


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Albertsons Taps Tortoise for Remote-Controlled Grocery Delivery Robots

Albertsons Companies, the grocery giant that owns Safeway and Jewel-Osco, has launched a pilot program that will test grocery delivery using remote-controlled delivery robots developed by Silicon Valley startup Tortoise.


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Costco's Same-Day Grocery Delivery Sales Rise 450%

Costco reported same-day grocery delivery sales rose 450% during Q2, showing continued high demand for online shopping through the club retailer during the pandemic.


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BJ’s CEO Lee Delaney Cites ‘Transformational Progress’ in Fiscal 2020

Robust grocery and digital sales helped propel BJ’s Wholesale Club to double-digit net and comparable-club sales growth for its 2020 fourth quarter and fiscal year.


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HelloFresh Wraps Up Record Year with US Customers up 46%

Meal kit maker HelloFresh reported $705 million in Q4 sales in the U.S., a 99% increase over the year-ago period, according to the company’s earnings report. Full-year sales increased 102% to nearly $2.5 billion.


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Instacart Raises $265M at a $39B Valuation

What’s behind the massive increase in the value investors are willing to ascribe to the business? Put simply, the pandemic.


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Pardon the Disruption: Will Instacart Become a Grocer?

The age-old debate takes on new significance in light of news that the company is exploring fulfillment operations.


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Uber Eats Product Chief Going to Instacart

What do these corporate changes say about the strategies of Uber Eats and of Instacart?


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Walmart Embraces a Local Fulfillment Model for Grocery

Walmart recently unveiled a new strategy to implement local fulfillment centers for handling e-commerce grocery orders within its physical stores. Steve Hornyak, Chief Operating Officer of Fabric, discusses how the new model will operate, and how it ties in with a wider trend of micro-fulfillment centers inside brick-and-mortar grocery stores.


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With MFCs, Retailers Look To Fill a Growing Need

Leading grocery chains get on board with automated micro-fulfillment centers to answer the demand of surging e-commerce.


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As Online Shopping Surged, Amazon Planned Its New York Takeover

The e-commerce giant added at least nine new warehouses in the city over the past year as 2.4 million packages a day strained the nation’s largest urban delivery system.


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Online Grocery Soars as Customer Satisfaction Falls

The growth of online food ordering is nothing short of staggering. In March 2020, consumers shifted the ways they shopped overnight – and there has been no looking back.


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Card-Present Transactions Are Better for Your Grocery Business

CP transactions provide many benefits to grocers as they prepare for the post-COVID world.


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AirAsia Launches Food Delivery Services in Singapore, Promises 5 Percent Lower Fees Than Competitors

Despite the growing competition of similar services within the region, AirAsia intends to woo customers by promising a five per cent lower delivery charge in comparison to its competitors.


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Flipkart Plans Grocery Delivery Expansion to Over 70 Cities

Grocery delivery via Flipkart is now available in over 50 cities across India, and the company plans to continue expanding the service to more than 70 cities over the next six months, according to a press release published on Tuesday (Mar. 2).


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Amsterdam’s Crisp, an Online-Only Supermarket, Raises €30M Series B Led by Target Global

Crisp, an Amsterdam-based, online-only supermarket focused on fresh produce, has raised €30 million in a Series B financing led by leading Target Global and joined by Keen Venture Partners and the co-founders of Adyen and Takeaway.com.


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Wincanton Delivers for Waitrose as West London 'Dark Store' Opens

Wincanton has started operations at a new Customer Fulfilment Centre (“CFC”, also known as a “dark store”) for Waitrose.com in Greenford, West London, making it the first supply chain partner to create a dark store for grocery home deliveries in the UK.


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UK Fintech That Aims To Disrupt Pensions World Picks up £2.6M

ClearGlass Analytics, a digital intermediary between asset managers and pension funds, has closed a £2.6 million funding.


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Super Speedy Grocery Delivery Startup Dija Launches in London

In the latest outbreak of investor FOMO, Europe’s VCs are falling over each other to invest in this season’s startup craze: speedy grocery delivery startups.


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Flink, the Berlin-Based Grocery Delivery Startup That Operates Its Own ‘Dark Stores’, Raises $52M

The on-demand grocery delivery industry in Europe (and beyond) continues to heat up amidst the pandemic, including a plethora of startups taking a vertical approach by operating their own delivery only — or “dark” — stores.


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Czech On-Demand Grocery Delivery Startup Rohlik Bags $230M To Expand Across Europe

Food delivery — whether it’s ready-made orders from restaurants, meal kits or groceries — has been one of the most-used services in this last year of living under the cloud of a global health pandemic, and today one of the companies with ambitions to build a pan-European empire in the third of these categories is announcing a major round of funding to help it get there.


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