Ahold Delhaize's Stop & Shop Banner Launches Produce Delivery Robots
ZAANDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - Despite revolutionary advances in online ordering and shopping over the past several years, we in the fresh produce industry keep hearing one complaint over and over: Consumers won’t want to buy fruits and vegetables without seeing them first. Now, hoping it has found a solution to that pervasive problem is Ahold Delhaize’s Stop & Shop banner, which today announced it will launch new driverless produce vehicles in the greater Boston area this spring.
“This is one way in which we’re leveraging new technology to make shopping easier for our customers—by essentially bringing the store to them,” explained Mark McGowan, Stop & Shop President. “We also recognize that many of our customers want the opportunity to make their own choices when it comes to fresh produce, and we're proud to be the first retailer to engage with Robomart to address our customers’ needs with their cutting-edge solution.”
The new vehicles are part of a partnership with San Francisco-based startup Robomart and were created exactly with the aforementioned problem in mind. Stop & Shop shoppers in the Boston area will be able to summon a Robomart vehicle with a smartphone app then unlock it to personally select fruits, vegetables, and other products including meal kits and convenience items. When finished, shoppers simply close the vehicle’s doors and send it off to the next! Equipped with RFID and computer vision technology, each vehicle can automatically record what customers select and provide a checkout-free experience.
“For decades, consumers had the convenience of their local greengrocer and milkman coming door to door, and we believe that by leveraging driverless technology we can recreate that level of convenience and accessibility,” said Robomart Founder and CEO Ali Ahmed. “We’re extremely excited to bring our vision to life with Stop & Shop, one of the most pioneering and forward-thinking grocery chains in the world.”
Will Stop & Shop’s pilot program be the answer to the produce industry’s online grocery woes? When AndNowUKnow finds out, you’ll be the first to know.