Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. announced March 22 a collaboration with Nvidia to beef up its technology space as it looks to build an AI lab and demonstration center to assist in the grocer’s freshness initiatives, shipping logistics and in-store shopping experience. News of this collaboration comes on the heels of Kroger getting ready to open another fulfillment facility, this one in Oklahoma City, in another geographic expansion for the grocer.
Using digital twin simulations—virtual models designed to accurately reflect store layouts and other operations—the lab will be located at Kroger’s headquarters, according to a statement from Nvidia.
“Our collaboration with Nvidia supports Kroger’s ‘Fresh for Everyone’ commitment,” said Wesley Rhodes, VP of technology transformation and research and development for Kroger, in a statement. “We look forward to learning more about how AI and data analytics will further our journey to provide our customers with anything, anytime, anywhere.”
Using Nvidia's AI Enterprise software suite, the lab will help the grocery retailer identify early indicators of decaying fresh items through computer vision and analytics; route for last-mile delivery to ensure freshness from farm to plate; and optimize store efficiency and processes with digital twin store simulation.
To gather actionable insights on the grocer’s nearly 2,800 stores across the United States, Nvidia said it will use nine Nvidia DGX A100 systems, Nvidia InfiniBand networking and Nvidia RTX workstations.
“Nvidia and Kroger’s collaboration on AI and digital twins will further expand Kroger’s digital technology leadership,” said Azita Martin, VP and general manager of retail fort NVIDIA, in a statement. “Kroger already is delivering excellent customer experiences in stores and providing fast home delivery. With Nvidia AI, shoppers gain more personalized experiences in physical stores and online.”