Woolworths rolls out new technology to speed up online orders

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Woolworths says it will be able to process online grocery orders faster than ever thanks to new technology launched in Melbourne this week.

The supermarket announced on Friday it had started sorting its first online orders using innovative Takeoff micro-fulfilment technology on its newly built e-floor located behind its current store in Carrum Downs, southeast of the city.

Staff, with the use of the automated technology, will be able to process thousands more additional orders than a standard Woolworths store, Aldo Sette, eComm Manager at Woolworths Carrum Downs eStore, said in a video of the 2,400sqm centre.

Pictured is a Woolworths employee working at the new eStore at Carrum Downs. Source: Woolworths
Woolworths will be able to process online grocery orders faster than ever thanks to new technology that launched in Melbourne this week. Source: Woolworths

Mr Sette said the supermarket giant has seen online demand more than double in the Melbourne area this year during the coronavirus pandemic and Victoria’s lockdown.

For the local area, customers will now see shorter wait times for their groceries and more pick up times.

The automation will also reduce the number of shoppers in Woolworths stores, which will hopefully help customers maintain social distancing.

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said the surge in online orders has allowed the supermarket to “reimagine what the future of our stores will look like.”

Employees sort through baskets of online orders that come off a conveyor belt. Source: Woolworths
Staff, with the use of the automated technology, will be able to process thousands more additional orders than a standard Woolworths store. Source: Woolworths

“The micro-fulfillment technology in this eStore is a potential game-changer.

“It will help us deliver unparalleled speed and accuracy in the online picking process while keeping us close to our customers for faster and more flexible deliveries to the home.

“This speed and proximity is key to boosting the availability of the same-day deliveries more and more of our customers want given their busy lives. Mr Banducci said.

The eStore has made way for 150 new employees and it is the first of three sites to trial the technology, with locations in Auckland and Christchurch to follow.

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