Amazon.com Inc. has acquired robotics firm Kiva Systems Inc. for $775 million in cash, adjusted for the assumption of options and other items.
This story first appeared in the March 20, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012. Kiva’s headquarters will remain in North Reading, Mass.
Kiva is essentially a technology firm that combines material handling with control software to automate many of the services needed at fulfillment centers that process e-commerce orders.
One company that uses Kiva robotics is Quiet Logistics, a third-party high-tech fulfillment house in Devens, Mass. According to Bruce Welty, chief executive officer of Quiet Logistics, the robotics help to “precision pack” orders. Squares are placed on the floor in a gridlike fashion and the robotics move product from one location to the next via wireless communication. That enables employees to stay in one location to pick and pack.
According to Welty, Quiet fulfills orders for 26 brands and retailers including Bonobos, Gilt Groupe, Knights Apparel, Maggy London, Milly, and Inditex (Zara).