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Schnucks Rolling Out Instacart’s Caper Carts at Select Stores

Broader deployment planned following successful pilot
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Schnucks Caper Cart
Schnucks will roll out two different versions of Instacart's smart cart later this year.

Schnuck Markets, Inc. is expanding its partnership with Instacart, and is set to deploy the grocery technology company’s smart carts at its St. Louis-area locations this fall. A broader rollout is planned later this year following successful initial deployments.

Instacart’s Caper Carts use computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify items as they are added to the cart, allowing customers to bag as they shop and checkout directly on the cart. Select Caper Carts will feature a bottom rack for bulky and heavy items, and Schnucks will also test a Lite version of the cart that lets customers manually scan items before placing them in the cart.

[Read more: "Finding the Horizon of Seamless Food Retailing"]

"As a third and fourth generation, family-owned grocer, we're always thinking about how we can best serve our customers while also driving the digital transformation of the grocery industry,” said Chace MacMullan, senior director of digital experience at Schnucks. “As part of that effort, we're proud to deepen our partnership with Instacart and further bridge the gap between in-store and online shopping for Schnucks customers.”

Continued MacMullan: "We believe the future of grocery will lean heavily into personalization whether it's achieved through in-store smart carts or by providing the best possible e-commerce experience for our customers. We aim to make customers feel like each shopping experience was custom-made for them, and we're excited to take another big step forward with the rollout of this pilot of Instacart's Caper Carts."

Schnucks has partnered with Instacart since 2017, when the grocer introduced same-day delivery through the service. Schnucks has since deployed a number of Instacart technologies to digitize its stores, including e-commerce, Carrot Ads, Eversight and Carrot Tags.

In June, Instacart teamed up with Wakefern Food Corp. to add smart Caper Carts to supermarkets in New Jersey and New York. Wakefern was the first retailer to deploy Instacart’s Caper Carts in brick-and-mortar locations and is expanding their use to a ShopRite in Spotswood, N.J., and a Fairway Market in Kips Bay, Manhattan.

St. Louis-based Schnucks operates 114 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, and employs 12,000 associates. The company is No. 64 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Outstanding Independents for 2023.

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