E-commerce leader to open robotics-based depot in the Big Apple
Amazon is expanding its distribution fleet to the Empire State.
The online giant plans to open a new 855,000-sq.-ft. fulfillment center in the New York City borough of Staten Island. The facility, which is Amazon’s first fulfillment center in the state, will pick, pack and ship customer items, such as household essentials, books and toys.
The warehouse will create more than 2,250 new, full-time jobs, and employees will work alongside advanced robotics. These solutions, developed by Amazon’s wholly-owned subsidiary Amazon Robotics, will assist employees in fulfilling customer orders.
The project is being developed by Matrix Development Group.
“We are excited to bring our first fulfillment center to New York and work alongside the state’s incredible workforce,” said Sanjay Shah, Amazon’s VP of customer fulfillment. “The support of local leaders has been instrumental in our ability to come to New York, and we are grateful for the welcome we’ve received to bring thousands of new jobs with benefits starting on day one.”
This is the newest facility expected to feature advanced robotics technology. Amazon also plans to feature the technology in its new facility in South Florida, dubbed a “mega warehouse,” which is set to open in 2018. The online giant is also opening robotics-based distribution centers in Colorado and in Connecticut.
California grocer’s educates customers at the shelf’s edge
Raley’s is helping its customers make more informed food purchasing decisions in-store and online.
Called the Raley’s Shelf Guide, the program features icon-based shelf tags that educate shoppers about current food trends and industry research — and also sets stricter standards for packaged food claims. Overall, the service is creating label transparency when it comes to helping customers understand packaged goods’ ingredients, food processing and nutritional value.
The California-based supermarket chain developed the program through a partnership with Label Insight. The data science company’s proprietary data-as-a-service platform uses machine learning, semantic engine technology, and unique attribute IP to deliver complete and accurate product information for more than 400,000 products. Results were used to develop a set of custom attributes for the Raley's Shelf Guide.
By converting these details into simple and colorful icons found on shelf tags, Raley’s Shelf Guide helps customers quickly interpret whether a product meets their needs, without having to analyze multiple labels. The grocer also created two of their own shelf tag descriptions – making it easy for customers to find food that is minimally processed and nutrient dense.
Also available online, the program is part of Raley’s click-and-collect service. When using the grocer’s eCart program, online shoppers can sort for products using Shelf Guide icons to quickly find products that meet their health and wellness needs. More than 13,000 items in center store have at least one icon.
“We knew that Raley’s could develop a program that truly addresses the needs of our customers and serve as a trusted advisor. Raley’s Shelf Guide attributes will help our customers make easier decisions when shopping our stores,” said Michael Teel, owner and CEO, Raley's. “Only foods that meet the strict standards of Raley’s will qualify for the Shelf Guide tags. I challenge food manufacturers to aspire to meet our Shelf Guide standards for their products at Raley’s.”
Raley's operates 122 stores in Northern California and Nevada under four banners: Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source.
Cloud computing to drive Billabong’s omnichannel experience
A board sports apparel retailer is taking steps to blend its physical and digital retail channels.
Billabong is leveraging the Aptos Singular Commerce platform to support omnichannel retailing across its global enterprise. The cloud-based solution will merge the retailers’ physical and digital retail channels, and create a single view of customers, inventory and orders, among other operations.
In addition to managing point-of-sale, the solution also supports customer relationship management (CRM), order management, merchandising and auditing functions. By integrating these functions, Billabong is positioned to deliver truly seamless customer experiences regardless where, when or how its customers shop, the company said.
Transitioning to a cloud-based platform also helps Billabong to consolidate its retail technology stack, and accelerate the implementation of new solutions — goals that required a seasoned partner.
“Aptos’ global presence, leading cloud-based technology, and professional services and implementation team were important considerations in our selection process,” said Michael Yerkes, senior VP, global operations of Billabong International Limited.
Billabong operates 372 retail stores, as well as operates e-commerce sites for each of its key brands, Billabong, RVCA, Element, Von Zipper, Honolua Surf Company, Kustom, Palmers Surf and Xcel.