Albert Heijn sustaining innovation in Belgium and Netherlands

Date : 07 December 2020

Harriet Cohen

Senior Retail Analyst

As Albert Heijn extends the reach of its online delivery solution in Belgium and that of its new AH Compact service in the Netherlands and launches new technology-led solutions in store, we round up news from the retailer.

Albert Heijn pilots AR powered in-store assistant…

In conjunction with the Antea Group Nederland, Albert Heijn is trialling an augmented reality, in-store assistant. The assistant is aimed to help shoppers find what they want in-store. It also helps them shop quickly by putting their list in the best order for the store they are in or giving them the best route to complete the type of missions they are on. The assistant uses a combination of technology from Insider Navigation and MetMotion.

It knows where a shopper is without using GPS or the store’s Wi-Fi, instead, the company says, it uses ‘horizontal or vertical marker for position determination’. The assistant can then use augmented reality to show product information and can help them find the products they want.

For subscribers, System upgrade is one of our trends for 2021. In the year ahead, the trend, which has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, will see retailers continue to invest in digital technologies that have a low capital investment and are easy to update.

…As it trials new checkout solution too

Separately, according to reports in local trade publication Distrifood, at a store in Delft, Albert Heijn is also trialing new technology to see whether it can further automate the payment process. The technology combines a camera and scales to calculate how much a shopper must pay. The retailer said the trial, which is being run in conjunction with Prime Vision, was being run to see whether the system could learn about the purchases being made to more accurately identify products and work out what needs to be charged. Shoppers are made aware, through signage, about the trial and what it was aiming to do.

Albert Heijn extends delivery service to new regions in Belgium…

Albert Heijn has extended the reach of its delivery service in Belgium to an additional eight municipalities. Ah.be will now cover the Mechelen and Rupel regions of Flanders, therefore covering Mechelen, Boom, Rumst, Schelle, Niel, Merksem, Hoboken and Antwerp-South. The retailer said the extension would see it cover 275,000 households in the country. Albert Heijn will process and deliver the orders from its Home Shop Centre in Eindhoven.

…And expands trial coverage for AH Compact service in the Netherlands

After launching its trial in September, Albert Heijn is to expand the AH Compact service to a second region, Nijmegen, and the surrounding area. AH Compact aims to meet the needs of one and two-person households, a rapidly growing market. These households can choose from an assortment of 5,000 daily essentials, including fresh produce, private-label, and other grocery items, using the AH Compact app.

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