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How This U.S. Retail Giant Is Using AI And Robots To Prepare For The 4th Industrial Revolution

Kroger, one of America’s largest grocery chains, has decided to embrace technology to help it survive and thrive in the 4th industrial revolution. With 2,782 grocery stores under nearly two dozen names in 35 states, Kroger plans to leverage its data, shopper insights and scale to help it remain a leader in the marketplace of the future. According to a study by the Food Marketing Institute, online grocery is expected to account for 20% of all grocery retail by 2022 and reach $100 billion in consumer sales, so Kroger and its competitors are smart to figure out ways to use technology to their advantage

Restock Kroger Initiative

In the fall of 2017, Kroger unveiled an audacious three-year $9 billion plan called Restock Kroger with the goal to build out its e-commerce, digital and omnichannel businesses and redefine the customer experience. The grocer already delivers 3 billion personalised recommendations each year, but they will enhance the personalization efforts to “create different experiences for customers.” Not only will shoppers receive useful content digitally, but also “inspiration” through product-related content and recipes. The expansion of Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go pilot programme that allows shoppers to scan products as they shop with their smartphone is also part of the Restock Kroger initiative. After being tested in 20 stores, it should be unveiled to 400 stores by the end of 2018. Additional investment in Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, machine learning, and artificial intelligence will be made to increase the efficiency of Kroger’s operations.

Delivery by autonomous vehicles

Today, we can get groceries delivered, but Kroger is testing the delivery of the future—grocery delivery by an autonomous vehicle. Kroger partnered with Nuro, a Silicon Valley company that specialises in autonomous vehicles for delivery, on its pilot programme. Customers can use Kroger’s ClickList ordering system and Nuro’s.