Albertsons Cos. has become the first American grocer to pilot an automated and contactless grocery pickup kiosk from Estonian provider Cleveron. The temperature-controlled kiosk, located at one of Albertsons’ Jewel-Osco stores in Chicago, demonstrates the ongoing expansion of the company’s e-commerce business to provide convenient options for shoppers.
Customers who select the “Kiosk PickUp” option will be offered two-hour time slots during which they can pick up their groceries. When customers arrive at the kiosk, they scan a code on their phone and their groceries are robotically delivered to the front of the unit for pickup. The unit features two temperature zones: regular and deep freeze. A customer’s items can be stored in the two separate zones and still be delivered in the same console for pickup.
The Jewel-Osco kiosk is now fulfilling orders, and Albertsons plans to install a second unit at a Bay Area Safeway in the near future.
“We are supercharging our digital and omnichannel offerings to serve customers however they want, whenever they want,” noted Chris Rupp, EVP and chief customer and digital officer at Albertsons. “This innovative and contactless PickUp kiosk makes it even easier for customers to shop with us in a way that is convenient for them.”
“Cleveron’s pickup solutions are created to save time and offer convenience for everyone,” said Arno Kütt, the company's CEO. “The customers can drive up to the PickUp Kiosk, scan the code, grab their groceries and go. It is as quick and easy as that. We are honored that Albertsons Cos. has selected our technology in their drive to offer the best experience for their customers.”
The kiosk, installed by Niantic, Connecticut-based technology partner Telaid, joins a growing lineup of customer-centric fulfillment solutions offered by Albertsons. The grocer has installed pickup lockers at several Jewel-Osco and Safeway stores; it already provides Delivery and Drive Up & Go options through its websites and apps; and it has formed partnerships with third-party operators to provide fast delivery options.
As a result of such efforts, Albertsons logged a 243% increase in second-quarter digital sales. Along with the new contactless pickup services, the company is ramping up the expansion of its Drive Up & Go offering to almost 1,400 stores by the end of the fiscal year.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates 2,252 retail stores with 1,725 pharmacies, 398 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The company’s stores predominantly operate under the banners Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street and Haggen. The company is No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.