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Woolworths to revolutionise food shopping with first 'eStore'

Woolworths is keeping up with the changing face of shopping as it is set to roll out new technology that will revolutionise online orders.

The supermarket giant is in the process of building its first eStore at its Carrum Downs supermarket in Melbourne which will see a 2,400 square metre facility added to the back of the existing store.

It will drastically cut the time it takes to prepare an online order and will use Takeoff Technologies – a company providing automated picking technology.

The technology essentially involves longlife products being moved by machinery along conveyer belts to a packer.

Huge increase in online food shopping

Woolworths eCommerce Director Annette Karantoni said its introduction, scheduled later this year, has been sparked by a huge increase in online orders.

“We’re seeing rapid growth in online orders as our customers seek more convenient ways to reclaim time in their busy lives,” she said.

A packer wearing a red t-shirt sorting out products in a warehouse.
A packer organising a customer's order. Source: Woolworths

“Our customers will only continue to look for faster and more flexible delivery options in the future.

“We believe smart fulfilment through our local store network is key to delivering this.”

Woolworths’ online sales grew at more than 30 percent across Australia in the financial year 2018-19.

A Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the technology roll out is at this stage a trial and if successful further roll outs will be considered.

Woolworths says the technology will also reduce congestion inside stores.

Two other eStores are being trialled in Countdown stores in New Zealand.

The move follows the supermarket’s expansion of its successful Scan and Go scheme, which allows shoppers to pay for their shopping as they go, eliminating the checkout phase.

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