Israel-based tech company Fabric is expanding its North American network for on-demand retail with the opening on a new microfulfillment center (MFC) in Dallas.
Fabric runs MFCs for grocery and general merchandise brands throughout the U.S. and Israel, with four in Israel and three in the U.S. in Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., and now Dallas. A spokesperson for the company told WGB in an email that four more MFCs are under development in the U.S. in Orlando, Los Angeles, Chicago and Long Island City, N.Y.
Fabric said in a release that it chose Dallas based on customer needs, population evaluations and 10-year shift studies, as well as detailed demographic analyses. “We’re in the middle of a historic shift in consumer expectations when it comes to fast and free shipping,” said Colin Coggins, chief commercial officer of Fabric, which has U.S. headquarters in New York. “By placing our MFCs in strategic locations such as Dallas, we can use our software-led robotics and AI technology stack to help retailers meet today’s expectations for super-fast delivery and provide a future-proof strategy to meet tomorrow’s expectations without increasing overhead.”
Through its network of MFCs, automated robotic fulfillment and inventory intelligence, Fabric helps retailers scale their fulfillment capacity and profitably and sustainably provide on-demand deliveries, the company said.
A Fabric survey of 500 consumers released April 26 found that fast, free shipping is the top motivator for customers completing an online order. Seventy-six percent of consumers expect free two-day shipping with a minimum purchase of only $40, while 61% expect free next-day shipping, and 52% expect free same-day shipping.
The first company to launch in Fabric’s Dallas MFC is Chill Brands Group, a lifestyle brand that develops, produces and distributes hemp-derived CBD products as an alternative to recreational tobacco.
At the picking counter, a worker receives bins containing goods to pick to his left, and after picking and scanning them, will place them in a bin to his right. The picked bin is then robotically ferried back to the grid, or to be restocked as needed. The completed order bin will be shuttled to an outbound touchpoint.
Jonathan Manav is director of U.S. operations for Fabric. He says microfulfillment provides a faster and considerably more cost-effective solution for grocers to pick and pack e-commerce to go. “If you look at in-store, manual-pick grocery, it takes a picker an hour to pick an order. Here, we’re picking the same order within a few minutes. The accuracy is higher. The quality is higher," he said.
Read more about Fabric's first U.S. microfulfillment center.