Carrefour stores in Saudi and UAE to use robots for packing online grocery orders

World Faizah Kamal 29-Jan-2020
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Carrefour stores are set to use robots to pack online grocery orders in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim has struck a deal with Takeoff, a US-based technology company that will automate online grocery purchases in the two countries. Under the partnership, several micro-fulfilment centres will be built by next year.

These mini warehouses will be located at selected Carrefour stores and they will process Carrefour’s online orders, to replace the manual picking method that is currently being used.

Customers will have the chance to place orders with Carrefour online. The use of Takeoff’s automated technology will ensure that robots prepare the order in less than 5 minutes for pick-up or delivery, Majid Al Futtaim said.

“Once in place, Majid Al Futtaim will be the first grocery retailer to use this technology in the Middle East as we look to scale up our e-grocery business,” said Hani Weiss, the CEO of Majid Al Futtaim — Retail.

The use of automation and technology to monitor and predict customer shopping habits is encouraging fierce competition among grocery retailers across the globe.

The idea is that these mini fulfilment centres will be based within Carrefour stores located in communities where customers live and shop.

Carrefour is one of the largest hypermarket and supermarket chains in the world. The brand was launched in the region in 1995 by Majid Al Futtaim, which is the only franchisee to operate Carrefour in over 30 countries across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.