Kiva – Ecommerce fulfillment disrupter
Kiva, makes robots that turn warehouse fulfillment on its head (the robots bring goods to humans, rather than the other way around). A couple of things caught my eye:
- ~50% of labor costs in a fulfillment center are attributed to people walking around (presumably to get the products from the shelves). Advantageous for retailers that are competing just on price and watching their pennies.
- Kiva has been deployed in a bunch of retailers – Staples, Gap, Walgreens, Dillards, Saks, Toys ‘R’ Us etc. Given that almost every retailer now is directly competing with Amazon, Kiva’s acquisition by Amazon should give these retailers cause for concern