Portugal: technology and expansion plans

Date : 25 August 2020

Lucy Bellotti

Retail Analyst

Jordao launched an artificial intelligence (AI) micro store in partnership with Reckon.AI. Meanwhile, Go Natural plans to expand its online presence and product distribution. Separately, Auchan Portugal has been investing in technology to improve shopper satisfaction by introducing blockchain technology and autonomous robots.

Jordao opens AI powered micro store

Jordao has launched a micro store operated by artificial intelligence and computer vision, called United Buy Bye. The initiative allows shoppers to access ready-to-eat meals, drinks, and food-to-go products. Jordao has partnered with Reckon.AI to develop a solution that provides convenience and improved proximity.

United Buy Bye can set up micro stores near universities, train stations, schools, and residential areas. Jerónimo Martins launched a United Buy Bye store in Lisbon, at the Pingo Doce Lab Store in Nova University.

Go Natural expands its physical and online channel

Go Natural, an organic supermarket owned and operates by Sonae MC, aims to expand its presence in Portugal. Go Natural operates 12 stores in the country and supplies 30 SKUs to Continente, Continente Bom Dia and Continente Modelo stores.

The retailer plans to expand the number of products it offers, aiming to introduce 15 new SKUs in food categories including juice, ready meals, and soups. Meanwhile, Go Natural also intends to increase its distribution amongst its parent company’s stores so it has a presence in 50.

Go Natural launched its own online store, in June 2020, to meet shopper demands during the coronavirus pandemic. The store offers shoppers in Cascais, Lisbon, Matosinhos and Porto access to 1,500 products. The retailer allows shoppers to click and collect or home delivery in an 8km radius of a store.

Auchan launches blockchain technology

Auchan Portugal introduced blockchain technology, which provides information on selected products’ life cycles. Blockchain technology highlights the farms and locations at all stages of the supply chain, up to stores’ shelves. Shoppers can access the information by scanning QR codes present on selected products’ packaging.

The retailer has implemented the technology to three products initially: melon, lettuce, and watermelons. It plans to extend its use to more products by 2022. The initiative enables the retailer to reinforce food quality and transparency across the store.

Auchan introduces autonomous robots

Separately, Auchan Portugal has partnered with Trax to trial autonomous robots that identify out of stock of items and notice problems with price labels on product shelves. Trax is a technology company that provides computer vision and analytics for retail.

Auchan and Trax aim to implement the initiative at 34 Auchan Portugal stores by 2021 to deliver improved customer service and productivity. The retailer intends to use the robots to assist collecting online orders and to offer shoppers a map to help locate products in-store.

For more information subscribers can access our slide on the innovation about Auchan's use of autonomous shelf monitoring robots.


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