Grocery Delivery

Both the grocery retailer and consumer are extremely cost sensitive right now. Their prioritization will create some winners and losers. For instance, micro fulfillment centers (MFCs) are probably the biggest loser in this. There’s lots of money being spent testing and developing these all over the country, but the rollout is in a catch 22 trap. Without MFCs, the last mile delivery costs are prohibitively high to achieve center store grocery delivery mass adoption. But MFC capital build costs are so high, they prohibit many other grocer wants and needs to accommodate their future customer relationship (e.g. new formats, services and product classes into stores, in-store tech, loyalty tech, etc). I believe MFCs will ultimately come to fruition, but it’s likely to be a long time before we see scale rollout to the average consumer. The beneficiaries are those tech platforms that can deploy to existing stores and create new revenue/ROI quickly off of existing structure, for example, in-store tech to present content. The big winners will likely be the AI and platforms that help expand the reach of the retailers rapidly growing their Retail Media Networks.

Al Sambar

General Partner, XRC Ventures