Kroger is Testing out Smart Shelving

Imagine if one day you could walk into the store and your grocery list was able to tell you where the items on it are located. In Cincinnati, Kroger is testing out this technology, which could even tell you if you happen to walk past an item on your list, by way of an alert.

Other innovations which are now possible include shelves that will light up under the product you’re looking for, and can even be configured to illuminate the item which meets your specific dietary requirements.

Tests of these technologies are well under way at Kroger, who are conducting tests with “smart shelf” technology in a store based out of Cincinnati. The company is scaling up their project and are planning to test a range of additional applications. Officials from the company say that it’s a matter of when not if the technology will be implemented.

At the moment, their shelves feature oversized video images with price tags displayed, and these are all controlled by a central computer. In addition to this, Kroger is looking to the future.

Their first test is to expand from having a few shelves like this to their entire store in Cold Spring. This is being done by installing over 2000 Edge shelves right through the middle of the store, and will cover the majority of their dry goods.

Kroger will not disclose any information relating to the cost of installing the new technology, which they have been developing in house. They are also keeping quiet about how they will roll it out to other stores.

This doesn’t stop them claiming that future shelves will be able to display nutritional information on demand, which may be activated by communicating with shoppers smartphones.

The vice President of Kroger’s R&D department, Brett Bonner, has claimed that the technology application can transform brick and mortar retail, by bringing “the info richness” of online shopping to the sensory experience of shopping in the store.

The digital tags they are using have made more time available to clerks, which they are making use of by paying more attention to shoppers in the store. For a store which stocks tens of thousands of items, this is a big relief, considering that it can take over two weeks to reprice an entire store by hand.

Learn more about smart shelving at Kroger.

Watch the video below to see it in action!