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The Grand Rapids Business Journal reports that SpartanNash is scheduled to open a new micro-fulfillment center in Caledonia, Michigan - a 55,000 square foot facility carrying 16,000 SKUs that will "pick and pack Fast Lane orders for 24 Ada Fresh Market, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare and Forest Hills Foods stores throughout West Michigan, primarily in the Grand Rapids and Holland area."

According to the story, "The micro-fulfillment center will support more than 1,000 Fast Lane orders daily once fully operational, more than doubling current Fast Lane order capabilities, SpartanNash said. Once a Fast Lane order is picked and packed at the micro-fulfillment center, it will be delivered either directly to a store for curbside pickup or to the shopper’s home."

“Fast Lane has been a tremendous value-add for our store guests as the pandemic heightened the importance of safe, efficient grocery shopping, pickup and delivery,” Tony Sarsam, SpartanNash president-CEO, tells the Business Journal.  “The micro-fulfillment center is an exciting investment designed to further elevate the Fast Lane shopping experience as we strive to continuously improve our fulfillment speed and product availability.”

KC's View:

The ability of MFCs to not just facilitate faster deliveries but actually expand retailers' marketing areas without necessarily needing to build new stores offers retailers - especially those not named Amazon and Walmart - a potentially powerful weapon in their ongoing battles.

I'm fascinated … and I'm happy to say that we'll have a discussion of the trend during the e-commerce track that I'll be facilitating at the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show in Las Vegas in September.  I hope you'll join us … and stop by to say hello.  It always is great to see members of the MNB community.