Finland’s K Group has announced that it plans to invest tens of millions of Euros in the following years to automate the collection of online grocery orders.
The move will help in further improving customer experience while ensuring more efficient processes.
Ari Akseli, the president of Kesko’s grocery trade division, said, “Online grocery sales in Finland are expected to grow considerably over the next ten years. We aim to maintain our clear market-leading position in online grocery also going forward.
“We will continue to invest heavily in the development of our online grocery operations and in ensuring an excellent customer experience.”
Automated Collection System
K Group’s first partially-automated collection system for a grocery store in Finland will be located in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
The online grocery sales volumes in this area have reached a level that allows for more extensive use of automation, the retailer noted.
The initial investment in the partially-automated collection system will amount to nearly €10 million. In the following years, investments in automation alone will amount to tens of millions of Euros.
“Up until now, the most effective way to serve the Finnish market has been to offer online grocery services through our network of physical stores. However, in the Helsinki region, volumes have now risen to a level where it makes sense to seek and adopt new operating models,” Akseli added.
The new partially automated collection system is based on a Micro Fulfilment Centre (MFC) concept.
'Quadruple Collection Efficiency'
Antti Rajala, director of e-commerce and digital services at Kesko, said, "We are seeking a solution that will quadruple collection efficiency compared to manual collection at the front of the store.
"Our aim is to combine efficiency with quality and to offer extensive selections to our customers, including store-specific selections such as meals from local restaurants, service counter items, and local specialities."
Kesko will specify the location details of the new collection system in due course. The retail group aims to expand the MFC concept in the Helsinki region and other growth centres.