RTIH Editor, Scott Thompson, brings you his top ‘future of retail systems’ deployments from the past week, including the first clothing store in the metaverse, AI powered salad bars, and rapid grocery delivery tie ups.
Japanese retailer Aeon has taken the next step in its Ocado Group tie up with the roll-out of a customer fulfilment centre (CFC) in Hachioji.
This will bolster its capacity in the Tokyo region as the online grocery market in Japan continues to grow.
Albertsons is piloting artificial intelligence powered salad bars in six US East Coast supermarkets via a partnership with Picadeli.
It has added the internet linked self-service counters, which stock foods supplied by Picadeli using a platform that optimises assortment by analysing consumption patterns, to Safeway, Acme and Kings Food Market stores in Washington, D.C., Maryland and New Jersey.
Albertsons is the first US grocer to deploy the technology.
US-based sandwich chain Jimmy John’s has partnered with Bitcoin rewards startup Lolli.
Shoppers can now earn up to 4% in Bitcoin rewards on delivery or pick-up when they order online at Jimmy John’s.
Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo Supermarkten has announced a partnership with German rapid grocery delivery startup Gorillas.
This will cover the Netherlands and the Flanders region of Belgium. Jumbo will supply a large part of its range to Gorillas, including private label products and some from the La Place brand.
Online grocery delivery venture Missfresh has inked agreements with more than 20 regional supermarket chains to equip 150+ stores in 19 cities in China with the company’s suite of proprietary SaaS tools and AI driven capabilities.
The deal includes such retailers as Shandong Aodelong Supermarket, Chongqing Jiameijia Department Store, and Changchun Yatai Supermarket.
H&M has opened a virtual store in Ceek City and became the first clothing location in the metaverse.
Ethereum-based project Ceek announced on Twitter: “Shopping in the metaverse with $CEEK Concept VR store presented to H&M by CEEK creates mainstream use cases for $CEEK + scaling virtual reality beyond games.”
Customers can walk through the store, choose the products they want and buy them in the Ceek City universe.
They will also have the opportunity to later order the products at physical H&M stores with Ceek currency.
Perfect Corp. has released a new AR Watch Virtual Try-On solution powered by its proprietary AgileHand technology.
The tech, which taps AI algorithms, is trained on PBR (Physically Based Rendering) 3D hand models to map a full range of gestures. The models include various skin tones and textures, as well as hand and finger sizes.
Perfect Corp. says that AgileHand enables instantaneous virtual try-on experiences, without the need for physical objects to calibrate the camera.
The technology is able to determine wrist size, and enables shoppers to view a watch face, as well as a watchstrap and buckle, for a complete, 360° augmented reality timepiece virtual try-on available across the metaverse.
Enhanced environmental lighting mimics ambient lighting, so that reflections on the skin and AR products change and adjust with natural hand movements.
Walmart is expanding a service that delivers customers’ groceries directly to their refrigerators.
First launched in 2019, the InHome Delivery offering allows customers to place grocery orders online, then receive their deliveries by having a Walmart associate enter their home by way of a smart lock.
This is currently available to six million households across the US. Walmart now has the goal of reaching 30 million US homes by the end of the year.
To support the expansion, it plans to hire more than 3,000 associate delivery drivers this year as well as build out a fleet of 100% all electric delivery vans.
Amazon will add Stellantis’ all electric Ram ProMaster van to its delivery fleet when the vehicle launches in 2023.
The e-commerce giant will be the first commercial customer of the van as part of a broader partnership focused on software development and in-vehicle technology, which was announced at the 2022 CES trade show in Las Vegas.
This includes Stellantis selecting Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider for vehicle platforms.
General Motors’ commercial electric vehicle unit BrightDrop has landed Walmart as a customer.
The retailer has inked a deal to reserve 5,000 of BrightDrop’s EV600 and smaller EV410 electric delivery vans to support its last mile delivery network and goal of operating a zero-emissions logistics fleet by 2040.