Warehouse club retailer Sam’s Club is incubating new retail technologies centered around its Sam's Club Now app that let members unlock a more personalized and responsive shopping experience. Machine learning and purchase data automatically generate shopping lists with suggested items, and beacon technology helps guide members through the store. Members can use the app to scan items to pay without waiting in line, as well as place orders for one-hour pick up. The features are currently being tested in its Dallas, Texas, test store before being rolled out nationwide.
PSFK's Future Of Retail 2020: Retail As Personal Utility report provides a strategic roadmap for brands and retailers to deliver hyper-personalized service that meets the unique needs of every customer in a post-experiential era
Charitable organization The Salvation Army opened DMG Foods, the country's first-ever nonprofit grocery chain, in Baltimore. Named after the brand’s motto, “Doing the Most Good,” the store is open to shoppers of any income level, with special coupons available to customers on SNAP benefits and onsite job training.
Seattle-based agricultural startup Pacific Coast Harvest implemented a program that discounts fresh produce for low-income families. The brand already offers CSA boxes that support small farms, and now families that are part of Seattle’s Fresh Bucks to Go program can order produce to be dropped off at their children’s preschools.
Bodega, run by the nonprofit Love Without Reason, is a new store in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles that offers healthy food to low-income shoppers, plus employment opportunities for homeless people and veterans. Everything on the menu is $5 or less, inspired by the free breakfast program run by the Black Panthers.
Supermarket chain Kroger’s Zero Hunger Mobile Market is a mobile grocery store that serves food deserts in Louisville, Kentucky. Five days each week, the “single-aisle” store, stocked with nearly 200 products, stops by under-resourced communities, cutting down on the effort required to shop for groceries that might otherwise be far away.
Texas-based grocery retailer H-E-B piloted autonomous delivery near its Olmos Park, TX, supermarket with a self-driving vehicle named Newton, which can hold up to 32 orders of varying size.
Retailer Walmart expanded its fleet of Bossa Nova in-store bots from 50 to 350, taking time-intensive chores such as scanning shelves to look for out-of-stock items off of human employees’ hands.
Chinese ecommerce company Pinduoduo is building an AI-supported logistics data network to speed up deliveries, automating warehousing, optimizing route planning and improving parcel sorting. It includes systems specifically designed for online sales of fresh produce, and uses data analysis to reduce spoilage by helping farmers identify the optimal time to plant and harvest different fruits and when they should be packaged and shipped.
7FRESH, the premium offline supermarket owned by Chinese ecommerce company JD.com, uses data analytics to improve its inventory management, selecting the exact amount and assortment of SKUs for each location based on their unique needs, minimizing fresh produce waste. 7FRESH also leverages data to build consumer profiles, which they use to determine optimal store locations and layouts
By absorbing shopping elements like the help desk or the checkout lane, smart carts are transforming the grocery retail experience—without requiring reinvention of the entire store
Grocers are tailoring stores to shoppers’ offline and online grocery shopping preferences, orienting the experience around click-and-collect service while adding a layer of additional offers
From audio for the visually impaired to aid for autistic shoppers, these initiatives from grocery innovators are building diversity into the store experience
'Just Walk Out' grocery shopping takes another turn with this new smart cart, which tracks items and even suggests products based on position