FinTech/AI: Walmart Acquires Alert Innovation, A Retail-Focused Robotics Automation Company
Walmart has been working with Alert to customize technology for its market fulfullment centers (MFCs) since 2016.
Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced its acquisition of Alert Innovation, a robotics automation company that develops material-handling technology for automating order fulfillment in retail supply chains. Walmart’s particular focus is on market fulfillment centers, or MFCs – it wants to reach customers quicker by deploying MFCs with greater speed, providing both an unmatched shopping experience and a competitive advantage in omnichannel fulfillment. Walmart has been working with Alert to customize technology for its MFCs since 2016, and in 2019, began piloting its first MFC in Salem, New Hampshire, using bot technology from Alert specifically built for the retail giant.
“Further investing in this technology will enable us to leverage our store footprint – 4,700 stores located within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population – for storage and fulfillment. For customers, this means orders can be fulfilled quickly and conveniently through pickup and delivery, giving them the items they want, when and where they want them,” wrote David Guggina, Senior Vice President of Innovation and Automation, Walmart U.S.
“We will continue leveraging our development, manufacturing and deployment expertise to enable Walmart to build and scale MFC technology in its stores. With Walmart, we have the opportunity to positively impact millions of lives through the Alphabot System,” said Fritz Morgan, Alert Innovation CEO.
The Alert bot technology is notable within the industry, due to its fully autonomous bots that store, retrieve and dispense orders by moving horizontally, laterally and vertically across three temperature zones without any lifts or conveyors.
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