Time to Deep-Six Omnichannel and Focus on Experience

| Seeta Hariharan

It’s about time retailers drop the term omnichannel from their vocabulary. Creating an omnichannel experience is not even that difficult. What is much harder is giving your customers a reason to shop, a belief that you are looking out for and providing them with unique experiences that they appreciate.

Kroger Selects Orlando Area for Second Automated Fulfillment Center

| Mike O'Brien

Kroger plans to build the second of 20 automated distribution centers in partnership with UK grocer Ocado for fulfilling ecommerce orders in Groveland, FL. The state-of-the-art FCs, built by Kroger and powered by Ocado’s automation technology, are just part of Kroger’s innovation push including driverless and same-day delivery.

Cause of Ocado Fire Highlights Concerns About Automated Warehouses

| Mike O'Brien

The Feb. 5 fire that completely gutted an automated Ocado grocery fulfillment center in the UK was caused by a failure in an “ambient grid” storing food at room temperature, raising concerns about what happens in these types of facilities when disaster strikes, according to a Bloomberg report.

Tackling the Challenges of Store Inventory Accuracy

| Mike O'Brien

If stores are the weak link in inventory accuracy, how do you improve it to avoid stock-outs and dissatisfied customers? Steve DeNunzio of Ohio State’s graduate logistics program covers the challenges and solutions in this MCM CommerceChat podcast. He’ll also lead this discussion at Ecommerce Operations Summit in Columbus, OH.

Kroger Finds Its Voice … Ordering

| Mike O'Brien

Grocery giant Kroger is adding voice ordering to its online arsenal, interestingly hitching its wagon to the Google Assistant voice app and not to Amazon’s Echo, at six of its associated brands, the company announced. See what else Kroger is up to as well as other tech skirmishes in the escalating online grocery wars.

Kroger and Walgreens Join Forces in Cincinnati-Area Pilot

| Mike O'Brien

In the continuing saga of strange bedfellows teaming up to combat the threat of Amazon, a Kroger/Walgreens pilot in northern Kentucky outside Cincinnati allows shoppers to pick up Kroger orders at 13 select Walgreens and purchase Kroger products while there.

Kroger to Sell Groceries in China Through Alibaba Partnership

| Mike O'Brien

Cincinnati-based grocer Kroger will start selling online into China through a new partnership with Alibaba, testing some of its natural foods line first as it makes its first international move in the expanding grocery wars. See what else the company is up to, including its pilot of driverless delivery in Scottsdale, AZ and same-day delivery.

Blockchain: Coming to a Supply Chain Near You

| Mike O'Brien

The advent of blockchain technology as a tool to enable secure, accurate sharing and verification across entire supply chains is fast approaching, moving it beyond the realm of Bitcoin transactions, attendees were told at Home Delivery World in Atlanta.