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E-grocery defined

Keyword Terms and Definitions

Learn grocery store terminology related to the online grocery and micro fulfillment definitions in this glossary of terms.

A micro fulfillment center or MFC is defined as an automated fulfillment center used by ecommerce businesses to store their inventory closer to the end consumer. Their structure size typically ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 square feet, with some as small as 5,000 square feet. MFCs can be co-housed inside an existing retail store, grocery store, or placed in a smaller warehouse space in an urban location.
Robots as a service is an economic model where customers lease or buy subscriptions for robots use instead of buying them outright as a capital expenditure. This model is great for companies experiencing seasonal swings in volume.
Remote automated dispense (RAD) is a term favored by Walmart for their small format, automated dispense systems. They are located close to customers to solve the speed of delivery ‘last mile’ problem. They can contain three temperature zones and automatically dispense order to the customer when they arrive at a kiosk. Think convenient neighborhood ATM for your groceries. The RADS are fulfilled from MFC’s, Dark Stores or CFCs typically via van.
Orders per day is the number of orders sold by a store on a daily basis. This is an important metric used for sizing an order fulfillment automation system.
A self-service supermarket is a single channel. A self-service supermarket that also supports online ordering is omnichannel. You can buy through either the physical store channel or the online channel.
Novastore is an Alert Innovation term for a store architecture and associated supply chain logistics. The strict definition for Novastore is a supermarket with an automated packaged-goods market (a.k.a. “center store”) and an optional self-service fresh-goods market (a.k.a. “perimeter departments”). It automates the center store and allows the grocer to focus on customer experience with produce, meat, dairy, bakery, cafe, etc.
A market distribution center (MDC) is a geographically local distribution center (DC) that is part of the Novastore architecture.
A local fulfillment center is compact, modular warehouse built within, or added to, a store. This term was used by Walmart, but was replaced with “market fulfillment center”. Others may use micro-fulfillment center (MFC) as an analogous term. It includes an automated replenishment system to provide automated picking of orders, storage and dispense at the store level.
Latency is the time between when an order is submitted and when it is ready for pick up or delivery. This is especially relevant as customer expectations move from placing an order the day before picking it up to same day (1-2 hr) pick up or delivery. This is a forecasting and inventory management challenge. Make sure the solution fits the real-world!
Last mile delivery is defined as the very last step of the delivery process when a parcel is moved from a transportation hub or warehouse to its final destination, usually a personal residence or retail store.

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