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US Q-Commerce player signs new logistics deal

03 August 2021

INSTACART HAS signed a strategic partnership with automated fulfilment supplier Fabric to provide solutions to brick-and-mortar grocery partners in the US and Canada.

Online grocery platform Instacart has unveiled the first phase of the next-generation fulfillment initiative. The multi-year strategic deal with Fabric as a fulfillment automation partner will see the company integrate software and robotics solutions with Instacart’s proprietary technology and shopper community to create new e-commerce services for retail partners as well as faster deliveries for consumers. 

The initiative will power fulfillment processes within both dedicated warehouses and existing retailer locations, and marry robotics with Instacart’s ‘shoppers’. Once orders are packed, these gig workers deliver orders to customers. Instacart plans to kick off early-stage concept pilots in partnership with Fabric and grocery retail partners over the coming year.

Instacart uses an Uber style model with ‘shoppers’ delivering groceries using their own vehicles.

“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,” says Instacart chief technology office Mark Schaaf. “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.”

Fabric CEO and co-founder Elram Goren, says: “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.”

The Instacart marketplace features more than 600 national, regional and local retailers.