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Walmart, Target Stepping Up Omnichannel Ahead of Holidays

| Mike O'Brien

In an effort to make ordering and receiving goods easier for the holidays, Walmart and Target have both announced upgrades to their omnichannel strategies as supply chain woes continue to impact inventory stock levels and consumers worry that products won’t be available.

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MFC Firm Fabric Joins the Unicorn Club With $200M Raise

| Mike O'Brien

Fabric, maker of automated systems for on-demand micro fulfillment in urban settings, has raised a fresh $200 million, bringing its valuation above the vaunted $1 billion mark as it looks to expand to new markets beyond its current operations in Washington, DC, New York and its launch site of Tel Aviv.

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More Than Half of U.S. Consumers Planning Holiday Shopping Early

| Mike O'Brien

Supply chain delays, ongoing carrier issues and expectations of late deliveries or out of stocks has driven a record number of U.S. consumers to begin holiday shopping earlier than ever, with 52% of them in an Oracle Retail survey saying they’ve already begun to do so. Major retailers like Target and Best Buy have kicked off promotions.

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Home Depot First Customer for Walmart Delivery Service

| Mike O'Brien

Home Depot has signed on as the first retail customer of Walmart’s new service, GoLocal, with Walmart providing same-day and next-day delivery in select stores in Texas, New Mexico and Northwest Arkansas in the coming weeks, expanding thereafter.

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Wakefern Testing Robot Delivery in Pennsylvania

| Mike O'Brien

Independent grocery cooperative Wakefern Food Corp. is testing robot delivery at two ShopRite stores in Pennsylvania as retailers continue to explore automated options for augmenting traditional methods to make e-grocery fulfillment faster and more efficient. Stores in Yardley and Bethlehem are participating in the trial.

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USPS Tests New Local Delivery Service in Texas

| Mike O'Brien

While UPS buys its way into last mile and on-demand delivery with Roadie, the U.S. Postal Service is piloting a same/next-day delivery service in Texas, geared toward local business-to-consumer orders that companies bring to a local USPS office to get a discounted rate. Experts questioned its value and market relevance.

MCM CommerceChat podcast

Instacart and the Great Facebook Talent Raid

| Mike O'Brien

Instacart has been on its own shopping spree, hiring away Fidji Simo, who ran Facebook’s main app, as CEO, as well as Facebookers Carolyn Everson as president and Asha Sharma as COO. What’s behind Instacart’s Facebook hiring binge? In this latest MCM CommerceChat podcast, we explore the subject with Orlee Tal, CEO of Stor.ai.

UPS Buys Way into Last Mile with Roadie

| Mike O'Brien

UPS announced it was acquiring last mile platform Roadie for an undisclosed sum, thrusting it front and center into a space that has spiked in the pandemic era, providing a way to service demand that doesn’t fit into its existing network, including groceries and bulky items. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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Point Pickup Acquires GrocerKey, Builds Instacart Alternative

| Mike O'Brien

Point Pickup, a provider of last-mile services for grocers, general merchandise and oversize goods, has acquired ecommerce platform GrocerKey, providing an end-to-end solution for retailers looking to own the customer experience and data often missing from third-party solutions like Instacart.

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Bed Bath & Beyond Doubles Same-Day Footprint with Roadie

| Mike O'Brien

Seeing greater demand from customers for immediate fulfillment of ecommerce orders, Bath Bath & Beyond is expanding its same-day delivery to 700 stores covering nearly 16,000 ZIP codes, a near doubling, through a partnership with Roadie. The retailer is also allowing customers to pick up online orders curbside as early as 8 a.m.