First came the instore robots. Now, Stop & Shop is taking the store on the road.
Just a few days after Stop & Shop began utilizing an Ahold Delhaize program that includes robots wandering the aisles, the Quincy, Massachusetts-based chain is unleashing a team of driverless grocery vehicles in the Boston area.
The vehicles — produced by San Francisco-based startup Robomart — will bring a selection of Stop & Shop produce, meal kits and convenience items directly to consumers.
“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,” says 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.”
Consumers can summon one of the Robomart vehicles with a smartphone app. When the vehicle arrives, the consumer unlocks its doors and then selects the items they would like to purchase. When finished shopping, they close the doors and the vehicle goes on its way.
The Robomart vehicles are equipped with RFID and computer vision technology that automatically records what customers select to provide a checkout-free experience. Receipts are e-mailed within seconds.