Multi-million-dollar deal for Berkshire Grey grocery picking robots

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AI-enabled robotic solutions provider Berkshire Grey has secured a US$23m (£16.5m) from a global retailer for online same day grocery fulfilment.

The Berkshire Grey Intelligent Enterprise Robotics (IER) solution robotically picks grocery items from inventory and packs the items into customer bags to fill orders that are placed online and via mobile apps. Berkshire Grey’s robotic solutions can operate back-of-store, putting the operation close to current shoppers for rapid pickup and delivery, and in larger dedicated fulfilment and distribution centres.

Berkshire Grey said its solution supports order-online-pickup-at-store, order-online-be-delivered-to-by-store, and similar models which are important high growth models in the grocery and convenience segments.

The system handles a broad range of items such as fresh produce and cereal, as well as convenience items like snacks, beverages, and toiletries

Furthermore, the automation allows businesses to operate 24/7 to support their customer’s evolving buying habits and transform operations in distribution centres, back-of-store, and stand-alone micro-fulfilment facilities.

Back-of-store automation also enables store employees to continue to provide service to traditional store customers even while the store supports the new online order streams. The company added this is particularly important in the wake of the pandemic which accelerated the growth of e-commerce for the grocery industry.

“Ordering groceries online became a habit for many during Covid-19. Driven by this and the convenience of online ordering, our customers need rapid fulfilment of online orders done in an efficient way to meet a range of consumer demands — at the same time our customers need to ensure that the right goods are always on the right shelves at the right times in the store,” said Pete Allen, general manager of grocery and convenience at Berkshire Grey.

“Berkshire Grey’s IER grocery picking solutions provide the grocery industry with the speed and scalability that customers demand while positioning grocers to boost margins and capitalise on the continued changes in the market.”

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