Albertsons is testing automated pickup kiosks

Diving letter:

  • Albertsons has installed an automated pick-up kiosk in a Jewel Osco store in Chicago, the grocer said Thursday, and plans to install another kiosk in a Safeway store in San Francisco in the near future.
  • The kiosks made by Estonia CleveronKeep products in two temperature zones – regular and frozen. Customers set a two-hour pick-up window when ordering and then scan a code at the machine upon arrival to receive their groceries.
  • The latest move supports the food company’s efforts to expand its click-and-collect offering, particularly self-service pickup, as online demand remains high. In October, Albertsons began testing lockers at several Jewel Osco stores in Chicago.

Dive Insight:

Albertsons’ investment in locker and kiosk control underscores the growing importance of technology and innovation as the grocer’s digital strategy evolves.

Chris Rupp, Executive vice president and chief customer and digital officer at Albertsons, said the company had signed up Cleverons Kiosks that appeal to increase convenience in a very popular service. According to Cleveron, shoppers need an average of 50 seconds to retrieve their order at the new automated kiosks, which are similar to an ATM for groceries. Each kiosk can hold up to 120 boxes of orders, said Andrew Whelan, a spokesman for Albertsons, who noted that the Jewel Osco store in Chicago began using the machine in December.

“We upload our digital and Omnichannel Offers to serve customers how they want, whenever they want. ” Rupp said in a statement.

Cleverons 501 model grocery kiosks are used by several international grocers including Woolworths in Australia, Coop in Estonia and Salling/.Bilka in Denmark. Cleveron Remote monitoring and maintenance of its kiosks from Estonia and providing on-site support from a technology company for the Jewel Osco Chicago location Telaidsaid Edith field, Head of Sales and Marketing for Cleveron.

In October, Albertson announced plans to install temperature-controlled pickup lockers from Bell and Howell of Durham, North Carolina at select Jewel-Osco locations in Chicago and Safeway stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Cleveron The kiosk is in a Jewel Osco location that doesn’t have a Bell and Howell locker, Whelan said.

David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click, wrote in an email that testing multiple solutions will help retailers take advantage of new technology in their stores.

“The advantages of the 501 unit are that it has more capacity than the locker solution and is better suited to being placed in the parking lot, that is, reducing the distance between the pick-up parking lot and the robot unit,” he said. “It’s a significant investment, however, compared to lockers or store-member supported pickup models.”

For grocers looking to expand their pickup options, locker and kiosk solutions offer additional flexibility and a contactless solution for customers. Hy-Vee started using lockers before the pandemic and has continued to expand the program.

Pickup lockers also solve a problem that plagues roadside pickups: waiting times. “These [issue] This is mainly due to the slow adoption of various geolocation technologies that help automate and speed up the pickup process, ”said Bishop. “Lockers are therefore a solution to the problem of waiting time, which at the same time reduces the need for shop work and is ready to serve a collection customer.”

The Albertsons announcement comes as the company seeks to establish itself as a leading e-commerce provider. By the end of the fiscal year, Drive Up & Go’s pick-up service will be expanded to 1,400 branches – compared to 600 in April. The grocer has also turned away from using its own delivery fleet in numerous markets, saying it will turn to third-party companies instead.

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