Tesco will launch a partnership with Loop, a delivery service which brings branded items in refillable containers. Shoppers will be able to order their favourite brands in packaging designed for reuse. Once the packages are empty, shoppers can schedule a pickup time and Loop will collect the containers for free and clean them thoroughly. The platform already has partnerships with different brands from Nestlé, Unilever, P&G and The Body Shop. The goal is to move to a more circular economy.
To battle the effects of single-use plastic, multiple UK retailers introduced food refill possibilities. Last year, Mark & Spencer and Waitrose introduced new refill or bring-your-own-container services. In early 2020, Asda announced plans for a refill scheme. These refill possibilities are an emerging trend in the UK, bringing opportunities for retailers. According to research from GlobalData, 71.3% of Brits across all demographics would be willing to use a refill service.
In a Carulla SmartMarket in Bogotá, shoppers can use facial recognition technology to pay for their groceries. Colombia is the ﬁrst country in Latin America to offer the payment system, called Smile ID. Next to this technology, the retailer offers smartphone payment options, a 3D purchase route on a digital screen to find speciﬁc products, a digital sommelier for wine information, and entertainment areas where shoppers can listen to music, charge their phones or check news portals.
Coop Sweden and tech ﬁrm EBI.AI partnered to build an AI grocery assistant called Cooper. The tool, available via app, web or Google Assistant, allows shoppers to scan products in-store. For now, Cooper understands shoppers’ dietary requirements, suggests recipes, and provides nutritional information. In the future, it should handle all aspects of customer engagement.
Meijer and Hissho Sushi have collaborated to create an in-store sushi & craft beer bar, the ﬁrst of its kind. The specially designed space is covered by 15 employees, including highly trained sushi chefs who use quality, responsibly sourced ingredients. Meijer states that the bar provides a one-of-a-kind experience where shoppers can conveniently enjoy their products and local craft beer, while doing their weekly groceries.
The retailer is piloting the ‘cashierless’ concept at its corporate HQ in Texas, with limited access only to employees. The pilot store offers a mobile app that shoppers use to check in, pay, and view receipts. At the same time 7-Eleven is testing vending machines in one of its stores in Tokyo. The shop will be converted into an automated self-serve shop at night, to solve the problem with worker shortage. About 170 items will be offered from midnight to 6am. Six machines, taking up only part of the store will be open while the rest of the store is closed.
Shopping equipment manufacturer Araven presented their Oceanis range of recycled shopping baskets and carts, made with 25% recycled plastic from ﬁshing nets and ropes. Its origin will only be noticeable through the characteristic green water colour. The company will also donate part of the sales proﬁts of the range to the international NGO Plastic Change organisation, which focuses on reducing plastic waste.
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