Retailers

Albertsons Pilots Automated Grocery Pickup Kiosk

Contactless service debuts at Chicago Jewel-Osco store
Photograph courtesy of Cleveron

Amid surging demand for contactless store pickup, Albertsons Cos. is piloting an automated grocery pickup kiosk. The kiosk, located at its Jewel-Osco store at 1224 S. Wabash in Chicago, is part of the grocer’s continued e-commerce, pickup and delivery expansion.

The automated, temperature-controlled kiosk created by Cleveron—an Estonian company specializing in robotic pickup lockersprovides a contactless pickup experience. Jewel-Osco customers who select the “Kiosk PickUp” option will be offered two-hour time slots during which they can pick up their groceries. And they can do it quickly. The average order retrieval time is about 50 seconds compared to in-store pickup, which on average, takes about 10 minutes, Cleveron said.

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 a deep freeze. A customer’s order can be stored in two different zones and still be delivered in the same console for pickup.

The kiosk in Chicago is currently fulfilling orders, and Albertsons told WGB it 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,” said Chris Rupp, EVP and chief customer and digital officer for Albertsons Cos., in a statement. “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. 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,” Cleveron CEO Arno Kütt said in a release.

The kiosk, installed by full-service technology provider Telaid, joins a growing lineup of customer-centric services offered by Albertsons to provide contactless fulfillment. Demand for contactless pickup and delivery has soared during the pandemic, with 79% of consumers saying contactless store pickup is “very important to them,” according to Incisiv.

In October, Albertsons Cos. installed PickUp lockers at several Jewel-Osco stores. The company already offers delivery and Drive Up & Go options through its websites and apps. Albertsons is also expanding its relationships with third-party operators to provide delivery options in as fast as two hours.

The manufacturer of Walmart’s “Rapunzel” parcel towers and the recently installed Cleveron 501 at Jewel-Osco, Cleveron has created parcel lockers and robots for over 13 years, partnering with some of the world’s largest retailers and grocers. Currently, more than 1.4 million customers receive their parcels through a Cleveron machine every month.

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