Friday, August 20, 2021

Urban Value Corner Store and Vroom Delivery Robots Work


Texas has been a close second or leading the country in new COVID 19 cases of late so it can be no wonder that one Texas based foodservice retailer has opted to deliver food too customers with a robot according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Grocerant niche fresh food fast continues to drive top line growth and bottom-line profits in every retail foodservice sector today according to the team at Foodservice Solutions®. Now Urban Value Corner Store is partnering with e-commerce provider Vroom Delivery and last-mile delivery robot operator Tortoise to offer on-demand delivery in the coming months in hopes of driving new electricity into the brand.

In Dallas Urban Value Corner Store customers will have access to thousands of products via robot delivery in less than an hour, including grocery staples like milk and eggs, beverages, ice cream, snacks and more. Yes, including, alcohol and tobacco items will also be available for delivery from human drivers.

So, each delivery robot is approximately the size of a large cooler. They are remotely piloted, ensuring a human being is always at the wheel. The cart can carry more than 100 pounds of goods in sealed containers, which are remotely opened by the cart operator once it reaches its destination.

Battle for Share of Stomach

As most of us know the roads are a bit lumpy in the Dallas area, so he robots will operate on sidewalks and drive at an average speed of three miles per hour, allowing them to safely navigate around people, pets and obstacles.

This partnership between Vroom and Tortoise allows for a contactless, zero-emission and affordable home delivery option, mitigating sustainability and congestion challenges, according to the press release. The Tortoise cart is 100 percent electric, removing the need for a gas-guzzling delivery vehicle and minimizing the traffic impact of e-commerce.

Dmitry Shevelenko, co-founder of Tortoise, stated, "We are thrilled to be working with Urban Value, a leading convenience store chain in downtown Dallas, on a pilot deployment in the coming months".

For those who do not know, Urban Value, operates c-stores in and around the Dallas area, will initially pilot the program from its downtown Dallas store. Pending success of the initial pilot, the retailer will roll the program out across the Dallas metroplex.

Urban Value customers can already order for delivery through the Vroom platform, with robots taking up last-mile responsibilities in the coming months.

Vroom Delivery CEO John Nelson, stated, "We are very excited to pilot this first-in-market contactless shopping opportunity," ... "I expect that this technology combined with our diverse product offering will provide downtown Dallas residents and office staff a much more convenient shopping experience."

According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.

Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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