H-E-B looks to deploy robots to handle booming delivery and pickup business

Swisslog, image. (SABJ)

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between the San Antonio Business Journal and KSAT.

H-E-B LP has partnered with Switzerland-based Swisslog Logistics Inc. to deploy automated micro-fulfillment centers to streamline its growing curbside and delivery service.

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Swisslog’s AutoStore system enables the retail chain to efficiently meet the growing demand for curbside pickup without impacting customers' in-store experience, according to a news release. A video demo posted to YouTube shows Robots on tracks to collect online orders with cranes from above the shelves. It then brings the order to an employee for processing.

Swisslog does not detail exactly how this will work at H-E-B stores. The Business Journal reached out to San Antonio-based H-E-B for comment on the Swisslog partnership, but it did not respond by the time of publication.

“Swisslog is pleased H-E-B put their trust in us to automate and support their facilities with state-of-the-art automation and software,” said Mitch Hayes, vice president of e-commerce and retail for Swisslog Logistics Automation, Americas. “Covid-19 and anticipated behavioral changes have created increased urgency around the need for automation within many grocery operations.”

Read more on the Swiss company working with H-E-B at the San Antonio Business Journal.