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Walmart’s Robot Warehouse for Groceries, Disappointing Kohl’s Sales, and Jet Parts Ecommerce

Robots packaging products at a warehouse

Walmart’s Robot Warehouse for Online Groceries

Walmart is pulling out all the stops to become the king of online grocery shopping. This week the retail giant revealed Alphabot, an automated 20,000-square-foot warehouse made specifically for fulfilling online grocery orders in New Hampshire. Alphabot uses robotic carts to quickly pick items and then deliver them to employees at a picking station, who then pack and deliver the orders to customers’ cars in the parking lot. Born out of Walmart’s desire to beat Amazon and other competitors, Alphabot will aid in Walmart’s grocery pickup service becoming faster and more efficient. “This is going to be a transformative impact to Walmart’s supply chain,” says Brian Roth, Walmart’s senior manager of pickup automation and digital operations. “Alphabot is streamlining the order process, allowing associates to do their jobs with greater speed and efficiency.”

What stood out to us?

No mention of protecting Sarah Connor from Alphabot.

Kohl's clothes rack

Kohl’s Low Holiday Sales and 2019 Struggles

Despite a partnership with Amazon for returning gifts purchased online, Kohl’s enters the new decade in trouble. The retailers’ same-store sales during November and December fell 0.2% in 2019, leading to it declaring fiscal 2019 earnings per share to be at the “low end.” This caused a chain reaction resulting in Kohl’s shares dropping 8% this week, adding to the 28% drop Kohl’s has experienced over the past 12 months. While Kohl’s is one of many retailers struggling in the age of ecommerce, the company was expected to thrive thanks to its Amazon partnership, but right now it’s not making the impact to turn things around. “We had expected significant new product launches, incremental traffic from the Amazon returns program and investments to drive sales to fuel outsized comps vs. peers,” says Bank of America analyst Lorraine Hutchinson. “The holiday sales decline suggests the Amazon partnership and new product launches aren’t enough to offset secular headwinds.”

What stood out to us?

Start using your Kohl’s cash before it is too late.

Jet engine of an airplane

Jet Parts Engineering Invests in Ecommerce

Jet Parts Engineering, a supplier of aviation parts to airlines, is soaring to new ecommerce heights. This week the company announced that it acquired Aero Parts Mart, a manufacturer of airplane parts approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. With this acquisition, Jet Parts plans on pairing Aero Parts Mart with its growing ecommerce site, which relaunched in 2017 with more features and integrations, to expand its market reach and capture new customers. “This union promises to make both Jet Parts and Aero Parts Mart stronger leaders in the regional aircraft PMA market,” says Anu Goel, president of Jet Parts. “Aero Parts Mart will add to Jet Parts’ strategy to continue expansion of Parts Manufacturer Approval and its focus on quality and customer service.”

What stood out to us?

Kohl’s will gladly partner on returns.

In the headlines

  • Trucking into Ecommerce: Next Trucking has emerged as an online marketplace specifically for truckers.
  • Cuts and Gains: Exercise equipment online seller Kettlebell Kings has significantly cut its delivery time and costs through two new fulfillment centers.
  • Chain, keep us together: Metalworking distributor MSC is expanding its supply chain to counter steady ecommerce sales.
  • Windows Cloud 9Microsoft is pushing its cloud technology as an alternative for companies wanting to avoid selling on Amazon.

Before you go

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Dose data of the week

Alphabot is coming. Run.

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