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.

Walmart Blows Out Q4 Ecommerce but Seeks Online Profitability

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart continues to see strong topline growth in ecommerce, with online revenue increasing 43% in the fourth quarter and 40% for the full year. But profit in the channel remains elusive and losses are expected to continue this year based on investments in infrastructure, people, online grocery and Store No. 8 initiatives, executives said.

Bringg Raises $25M To Expand Markets, Increase Hiring, Step Up R&D

| Mike O'Brien

Bringg, a logistics software provider in the retail, grocery, restaurant, pharmacy and 3PL categories, has raised $25 million in a Series C funding round to increase its market reach, invest in its team and step up its R&D efforts. See what the company has been up to and how it is disrupting the same-day delivery logistics sector.

Instacart Pricing Change Leading to Threats of a Shopper Boycott

| Mike O'Brien

Instacart, the same-day grocery delivery company used by many grocers, is dealing with customer ire as freelance shoppers fulfilling the orders are passing up some jobs due to a change in the pricing structures. Also a number of shoppers have taken to Twitter to call for a boycott of the service due to a drop in their wages.

Walmart Testing Same-Day Grocery Delivery in China

| Mike O'Brien

After beefing up its grocery delivery chops here, including automated kiosks and crowdsourcing, Walmart is now testing same-day grocery delivery to customers in China through a hookup with WeChat and delivery service Dada. This is separate from Walmart’s partnership with JD.com, although both have invested in Dada.

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 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.

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