Kroger partners with Microsoft on smart stores

US grocery giant Kroger has partnered with Microsoft to deliver two pilot smart stores, including digital shelving displays which can indicate price, promotions and nutritional information to customers.

The EDGE (Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment) shelf will also connect with Kroger’s Scan, Bag , Go system, which allows customers to scan product barcodes and pay using Kroger’s specialised app without taking products to a designated checkout.

“Kroger is building a seamless ecosystem driven by data and technology to provide our customers with personalised food inspiration,” Kroger chairman and chief executive Rodney McMullen said.

The EDGE shelving display enables contextual product labelling.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said the partnership will redefine the shopping experience for millions of customers at both Kroger and other retailers around the world.

The EDGE shelving displays will also be able to show personalised offers, as well as digital advertising, allowing Kroger a new revenue stream from brands wishing to advertise within its stores. These ads can be presented based on consumer demographics in order to take maximum effect.

The success of these pilot stores could guide the business’ expansion plans beyond 2019, as the retail-as-a-service (RaaS) model being tested is set to be sold externally to competing retailers.

The two trial stores will feature Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go payment system.

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