By now, self-checkout kiosks are a common way to complete a transaction at a store or quick-service restaurant. However, if the store is busy, it’s likely that there is still a queue to use the kiosks. As we mentioned previously in our roundup of retail trends, technology that puts the power to pay for items in consumers hands is spreading around the globe.
With the start of a new year, retailers are abuzz following industry conventions such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the National Retail Federation’s Big Show. Replacing the somber mood surrounding brick-and-mortar in 2017, so far this year, the industry is focused on creating future-proof in-store experiences, buoyed by a healthy holiday season.
For nearly a decade, Mission Data has been an ongoing research and development partner of the Kroger Company, the nation’s largest grocer with $108 billion in sales. The Cincinnati-based supermarket giant employs more than 431,000 associates who serve customers in 2,778 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 35 states.
Recent headlines are casting an apocalyptic scene for brick-and-mortar retail. Empty storefronts, vacant big-box lots, and bankrupt brands are on the rise, while unemployment drops and consumer confidence is high—signaling a sea change in consumer preferences. While the dynamics of the industry are shifting dramatically, physical retail is not going away anytime soon as it still accounts for 90% of total retail sales. As retailers head into the busiest time of the year, how can they grapple with the rising tide of challenges?
Amazon’s recent announcement that it will buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion sent shockwaves throughout the retail world, and the news is being discussed from just about every possible angle. While some pundits are crying doom and gloom, this is a pivotal moment for grocery retail, and there are practical, strategic steps that stores can make to keep up with the digitization of the industry.
Grocery shopping—unless you’re one of those ‘extreme couponers,’ is probably not very high on your list of favorite activities. However, food is without a doubt an essential need, and food shopping is a priority for most of us. The $650 billion U.S. grocery industry is extremely competitive, and food retailers are constantly innovating with technology to keep up with new waves of trends threatening their survival.