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Associated Food Stores selects Symbotic to implement warehouse automation system

Associated Food Stores (AFS), a provider of groceries and other goods and services to independent retailers in nine Intermountain states, and Symbotic, a developer of AI-enabled robotics technology for the supply chain, have entered into a commercial agreement to implement Symbotic’s robotic warehouse automation technology in AFS’ Utah distribution center.

Symbotic says its end-to-end automation system, with robotic case pick capabilities, will allow AFS’ distribution center to “improve a variety of retail-facing experiences”, including overall supply, expanded selection and delivery of products to stores.

David Rice, AFS’ president and CEO, says: “We appreciate the partnership with Symbotic which enables us to cast an exciting vision for future growth and long-term relevance with the shoppers and retailers we serve.

“Their expertise and professionalism allowed us to make what could have been a difficult decision, incredibly straightforward.”

Roger White, AFS’ executive vice president and COO, says: “While very important, a modernized distribution system is not just about automation and technology, but also about optimizing processes and empowering people. It’s a strategic investment that can increase efficiency and enhance our ability to service our member retailers.”

Rick Cohen, Symbotic’s chairman and CEO, says: “We are pleased to welcome AFS as a customer and look forward to working with them to transform their distribution center.

“We are dedicated to ensuring our AI-powered robotics platform helps customers increase efficiency, reduce costs, enable new capabilities and improve worker satisfaction.”

Glen Keysaw, AFS’ vice president of distribution, says: “We believe implementing the Symbotic system creates great opportunities for our distribution center team members to grow their skill sets and expand their future opportunities with the company.

“Due to the proactive efforts of our management team, all current team members at the distribution center will have jobs going forward and the distribution center will continue supporting current and future independent grocers throughout the Intermountain West.”

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