Looking back at the top stories of 2021 on WinsightGroceryBusiness.com reflects a year in which stores got smarter as they continued to face challenges brought on by COVID-19. In the mix was also coverage of retailers’ most popular items, which proved to resonate with WGB readers as well. Click through as we count down the top five stories of 2021.
5. Cracking the Code on Self-Checkout
Ask any retailer or shopper, and they all likely have a love-hate relationship with self-checkout machines, which might explain why “Cracking the Code on Self-Checkout” cracked WGB’s top five stories of 2021. In this story, WGB editor Jon Springer looked at how KanduAI’s technology aims to get at the heart of these woes by recognizing items such as produce that is sold by weight and cannot be scanned with a barcode swipe.
4. Nine Products Trader Joe’s Customers Can’t Live Without
Trader Joe’s products have a cult-like following among shoppers, and every year, the retailer invites customers to pick their top products in a variety of categories. It was WGB’s coverage of the 12th annual award winners that garnered top five status. Among the winners were Teeny Tiny Avocados, Trader Joe’s Scented Candle, Sparkling Black Tea with Peach Juice, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and overall favorite Mandarin Orange Chicken.
3. Kroger Checks Out a Smart Cart
WGB’s scoop of The Kroger Co. testing smart carts captured enough reader attention to become the third most read story of 2021. Provided through a partnership with tech firm Caper, the KroGo smart carts can weigh items, provide shopping suggestions, and scan and pay for orders without requiring shoppers to visit a traditional checkout lane.
2. A Sneak Peek at Aldi’s 2021 Advent Calendars
Aldi’s advent calendars have amassed quite the fanbase over the years, and WGB’ssneak peek of the retailer’s 2021 offerings were just as popular with our readers. Among the offerings were the ever-popular wine calendar, in addition to beer, cheese, self-care, pet and coffee-themed calendars. Which one did you snag?
1. Walmart: Cleanup on Aisle ... All of Them?
Retailers continued to battle out-of-stocks in 2021 as the pandemic raged on, and the struggles of Walmart, as documented by Scott Mushkin, CEO of New Canaan, Conn.-based research firm R5 Capital and reported by WGB, was the top read story of the year. Mushkin surveyed the scene at more than 50 Walmart stores from Maryland to Washington State and found a consistent theme: updated store facades—fresh paint, updated signage, well-stocked produce displays just inside store entrances—but increasing disorganization the farther into a store one goes, he said. See also The Biggest Walmart Headlines of 2021