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Wakefern Rolls Out Latest Caper Carts in New York, New Jersey

Food retailer partners with Instacart on technology to help shoppers navigate physical store
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Instacart screen
Instacart's latest Caper Cart gives shoppers a running total on their purchases to help them stick to their budgets.

Aiming to deliver a more personalized in-store shopping experience, Instacart is teaming up with Wakefern Food Corp. to add smart Caper Carts to supermarkets in New Jersey and New York. The carts help shoppers find products and deals faster and, on another level, reflect the integration of technologies across the omnichannel.

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. The carts in these stores are the latest models, designed to automatically recognize and ring up groceries, provide tailored shopping recommendations and enable direct checkout.

[Read more: “Pros at Preferabli, Instacart and Kroger Get Personal at GroceryTech”]

The updated Caper Carts hold 65% more than the previous model, but in a slimmer and lighter format, according to Instacart. At a time of still-elevated inflation, the carts also help shoppers stay on budget by providing a running tab on the screen.

"We're delighted to work with Instacart to bring this innovative technology to our customers at some of our stores," said Cheryl Williams, Wakefern’s chief information officer. "Our goal is to offer our customers the best possible shopping experience, and the new, enhanced Caper Cart streamlines the shopping and check out process while offering new opportunities to engage with customers at the point of purchase.” 

David McIntosh, VP and general manager of connected stores at Instacart, said that the cart bridges in-store and online experience in the seamless way that grocers and shoppers are both seeking. "Customers' shopping preferences are rapidly evolving, demanding greater convenience and personalization in physical stores. To meet these changing expectations, we’re committed to developing innovative solutions that connect the best of online shopping with in-store technologies, creating a truly unified shopping experience," he remarked.

McIntosh is a featured panelist at the upcoming GroceryTech event in Cincinnati, co-produced by Progressive Grocer and RIS News. On Thursday, July 13, he will talk about “Creating Next-Gen Customer Experiences” alongside Pam Dillon of Preferabli and Jody Kalmbach of The Kroger Co.

Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern comprises nearly 50 members that independently own and operate 360-plus supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The company is No. 29 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. San Francisco-based Instacart partners with more than 1,000 national, regional and local retail banners to facilitate online shopping, delivery and pickup services from more than 75,000 stores across North America on the Instacart Marketplace.

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