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Instacart Partners With Fabric For Fulfillment Automation

Online grocery platform Instacart on Thursday (July 22) signed a multi-year deal with Fabric to spearhead the company’s plans for fulfillment automation across the U.S. and Canada.

The plan calls for integrating new software and robotics solutions to “create new eCommerce services for retail partners and an even faster, more effortless online grocery shopping experience for customers.” By pairing Fabric’s software and robotics with Instacart’s technology and shoppers in dedicated warehouses and existing retail locations, the companies aim to achieve faster fulfillment of customer orders.

Completed orders will be sent to staging areas for curbside pickup, according to the Instacart announcement. The program will kick off as a pilot over the coming year.

Instacart has grown into the second-largest grocery delivery/pickup service behind only Walmart, operating in 45,000 stores. The company plans to roll out 30-minute delivery services in 15 American services.

“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,” said Instacart Chief Technology Officer Mark Schaaf in the announcement. Instacart’s new fulfillment initiative will cut down on crowded store aisles, out-of-stock items and long checkout lines for shoppers, he said.

“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,” said Schaaf.

“We see an enormous opportunity to integrate our product and services into Instacart’s eCommerce solutions to provide a compelling service offering for grocers,” said Elram Goren, CEO and co-founder of Fabric, in the announcement.

Earlier this month, Instacart appointed longtime Facebook exec and Instacart board member Fidji Simo as its new CEO, shifting Apoorva Mehta from CEO to executive chairman.

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