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Instacart unveils next-gen plan for retailers

Instacart announced the first phase of the company’s next-generation fulfillment initiative designed to bring automated technology solutions to retailers across the U.S. and Canada. As part of the new initiative, the company announced it has signed a multi-year strategic deal with Fabric as a fulfillment automation partner.

With Instacart next-gen fulfillment, the company will integrate leading software and robotics solutions with Instacart’s proprietary technology and growing shopper community to create new e-commerce services for retail partners and an even faster, more effortless online grocery shopping experience for customers.

As part of Instacart’s new next-gen fulfillment initiative, the company will pair Fabric software and robotics with Instacart technology and shoppers to power a new fulfillment process within dedicated warehouses and existing retailer locations. The new process will marry the speed of robotics with the human touch and attention to detail of Instacart shoppers, enabling faster fulfillment of customers’ full grocery shop from packaged goods, household essentials and produce to deli items, frozen food and alcohol. Once orders are carefully packed, shoppers will deliver orders to customers’ doors or place them in staging areas for curbside pickup. Instacart plans to kick off early-stage concept pilots in partnership with Fabric and grocery retail partners over the coming year and beyond.

“Instacart is proud to serve as the chief ally to retailers during a time when e-commerce in North America is poised for accelerated adoption. Our next-gen fulfillment initiative combines our robust technology suite and dedicated community of shoppers with robotics solutions to give retailers even more innovative ways to compete and serve their customers online. Our next-gen fulfillment work will also help reduce some of the things that make in-store shopping cumbersome for Instacart shoppers, like crowded store aisles, out of stock items and long checkout lines,” said Mark Schaaf, chief technology officer for Instacart. “Over the long-term, we believe partnering with retailers to bring next-gen fulfillment technologies together with the personal touch and care of Instacart’s shopper community will create an even more seamless online grocery experience that’s faster and more affordable for customers and delivers even more value and growth to retailers.”

“Everything about our micro-fulfillment solution has been built for speed, efficiency, and elasticity to meet today’s on-demand requirements. This partnership with Instacart is another validation that Fabric’s tech and operations are best-fit to serve retailers’ next-gen fulfillment needs,” said Elram Goren, CEO and co-founder of Fabric. “Our software-led robotics and modular solution gives grocery retailers the flexibility to build the fulfillment solution that best fits the needs of their business. With Instacart as a partner, we see an enormous opportunity to integrate our product and services into Instacart’s ecommerce solutions to provide a compelling service offering for grocers. We’re excited to partner with Instacart as we continue to scale across North America and focus on unlocking more value for retailers and their customers.”

Instacart’s next-gen fulfillment initiative adds robotics solutions to the company’s existing grocery e-commerce offerings. Those offerings include the Instacart marketplace, which features more than 600 national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names; Instacart Enterprise, the company’s white-label enterprise-grade technology solution; and Instacart Ads, which connects thousands of consumer packaged goods brands directly to customers online.

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