The new concept is being tested in Quincy, Mass at its Retail Business Services' offices.
The concept is around 300 sq ft and is called Lunchbox. The frictionless technology allows registered shoppers to scan in, shop and walk out, and offers fresh, healthy options which are available 24/7. This builds on a variety of experimental concepts that Ahold Delhaize has been testing, which include 'tap-to-pay' technology in Europe and an unmanned, trailer sized 'nanostore' in the Netherlands. In the USA, it also recently announced the expansion of its SCAN IT! mobile frictionless checkout to 30 stores by the end of 2019.
Ahold delhaize has not yet said whether it is likely to roll out the concept more widely, however it will trial it at a second Retail Business Services' office in 2020.
Efficiencies of the new concept
Ahold Delhaize believes the new concept can be built cheaper and faster than existing frictionless store models, with implementation possible in as little as six weeks. To develop the store, it partnered with UST Global, a leading digital transformation business. They provided the artificial intelligence (AI) and the physical infrastructure, whilst Ahold Delhaize's Retail Business Services led on food retail expertise for operations and the technology connectivity.
The technology used is powered by a proprietary app, allowing customers entry to the store and payment through integration of digital services including Apple Pay, Venmo, Paypal and Google Pay. AI inside the store can detect when products are removed from shelves and body skeletal tracking matches the right products to each shopper.
Making the shopping experience more frictionless is an area that many retailers are investing in, and the technology is evolving to make a multitude of seamless options possible. This provides a number of opportunities for retailers to better serve shoppers.
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