In Weekly News Roundup
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Bringoz Industry Weekly 4/16


arget is testing a new way to make deliveries faster. Stimulus checks drove online spending in the first quarter. Chick-fil-A is testing robot delivery as Walmart invests in autonomous vehicles. Read about these stories and more in our weekly news roundup.

Target Wants To Make Delivery Even Faster

Instead of just shipping packages through carriers, the retailer will also enlist the help of its own team of dedicated delivery people. Target will use technology it acquired to group packages for the most efficient routes to neighborhoods, and contract workers from Shipt will help drop them off at customers’ homes. Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan said the retailer plans to expand the model as it opens five more sortation centers by the end of the fiscal year. With the new model, Mulligan said Target will be able to better handle the rising number of packages that pile up in its stores throughout the day. He said it will also give the company more control over the customer experience and make eCommerce orders more profitable. Read more on CNBC.

5 Features For Optimizing Restaurant Deliveries

With the fees third-party delivery platforms are charging restaurants and the dramatic economic impact on small businesses and restaurants, many restaurants are adopting delivery technology solutions to manage their own delivery services. Implementing a delivery management solution can save restaurants significant time and money. Here are some features to look for in a delivery technology solution that are critical to managing a fast and efficient delivery operation. Read more in our blog here.

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Many restaurants are adopting delivery technology solutions to manage their own delivery services, increase efficiency, and save time and money.

Stimulus Checks Spur Q1 Online Spending

The release of government stimulus payments in March helped drive strong eCommerce performance in the first quarter of 2021. According to the Q1 2021 Shopping Index from Salesforce, online retailers in the U.S. closed out the quarter with a strong March as consumers increased spending in response to the American Rescue Plan Act. Daily online spending in the U.S. peaked for the quarter on March 17, growing 117% year-over-year (YoY), coinciding with the official payment date for the first batch of stimulus checks. For the quarter as a whole, U.S. digital revenue rose 45% YoY, well above pre-pandemic levels and slightly up from 43% YoY digital revenue growth reported by Salesforce in the fourth quarter of 2020. Read more on Chain Store Age.

Kroger Debuts Next-Gen Fulfillment Center Model

After three years of planning, Kroger has finally gone live with its leading-edge automated warehouse concept known as a customer fulfillment center (CFC). The supermarket giant and Ocado, one of the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailers, are introducing the CFC model in Monroe, Ohio, a city north of Cincinnati. The CFC model combines vertical integration, machine learning, and robotics with affordable and fast delivery service for fresh food. The facility leverages proprietary technology solutions focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced robotics and automation to create more seamless and efficient fulfillment, picking and delivery capabilities for enhanced digital commerce capabilities across the U.S. Read more on TechCrunch.

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The release of government stimulus payments in March helped drive strong eCommerce performance in the first quarter of 2021.

Chick-fil-A Is Testing Robot Delivery

Chick-fil-A is testing robot delivery in California under a new partnership with robotics company Kiwibot. Up to three locations in the Santa Monica area are now offering customers the option of having their food brought to them by one of Kiwibot’s semi-autonomous, four-wheeled rovers, said Kiwibot COO Diego Varela Prada. “What we promise is to at least halve the time it takes for all orders a mile or closer, and more than half the cost” of the average delivery, Prada said. The average delivery takes 30 minutes and costs $1.99, the company said. Chick-fil-A will be using the latest version of the robot, which features upgraded cameras, lights and other features designed to enhance the customer experience, such as the ability to “wink.” Read more on Restaurant Business Online.

Walmart Invests in Cruise, the GM-Backed Autonomous-Car Startup

The world’s largest retailer is taking an undisclosed stake in Cruise LLC, the autonomous-vehicle technology company that’s majority-owned by General Motors Co. The Walmart investment brings the size of Cruise’s latest funding round to $2.75 billion, the two companies said in a statement Thursday, up from the $2 billion Cruise announced in January when Microsoft Corp. became an investor. The investment will help support Walmart’s push to create a home-delivery logistics network that’s “fast, low-cost and scalable,” Walmart’s U.S. chief executive officer, John Furner, said in a blog post. Read more on Bloomberg.

GM and LG to Spend $2.3 Billion on Second EV Battery Plant

General Motors and South Korea’s LG Chem will invest more than $2.3 billion in a second U.S. battery cell plant for electric vehicles in Tennessee, the companies announced Friday. The plant for their Ultium Cells LLC joint venture will be to support production of GM’s upcoming Cadillac Lyriq crossover and other future EVs at a nearby assembly plant. The supply and production of battery cells are crucial for automakers pivoting to electric vehicles. The joint venture for the new plant while its first is still under construction in Lordstown, Ohio, underscores that. Read more on CNBC.

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