Retail Business Services Debuts Frictionless Store
Retail Business Services, the services arm of Ahold Delhaize USA, announced new frictionless store technology.
Piloted under the name lunchbox, this new technology enables individuals to shop a small format store in seconds by scanning in, shopping and walking out. The technology has been tested in Retail Business Services’ Quincy, Mass. office.
Retail Business Services partnered with UST Global, a leading digital transformation solutions company, to develop the store. Retail Business Services led application development, technology connectivity and provided food retail operations expertise, and UST Global and its partners provided the artificial intelligence technology solution and physical infrastructure for the store. The technology will be demoed at the National Retail Federation (NFR) Big Show in January in collaboration with UST Global and Intel.
“Lunchbox is an easy, fresh shopping alternative,” said Paul Scorza, evp, IT and CIO for Retail Business Services. “Once registered, shoppers simply scan in, shop and walk out. It’s that easy. And it offers fresh, healthy options 24/7. You can grab a snack, a salad, fresh fruit or even a carton of milk on your way home.”
According to media reports, compared to other frictionless store concepts, lunchbox is efficient. The solution carries a lean cost and can be implemented in a matter of weeks.
“We believed in this concept so much we brought it to our own office,” added Scorza. “Our cafeteria, which serves more than 1,000 associates, was being remodeled, and we were looking a quick, cost effective solution to give associates access to beverages, snacks and fresh items at a variety of hours. We implemented this solution in just six weeks. Today, thousands of shops with groups of up to 12 in the store at the same time have been successfully completed.”
The application technology for lunchbox created in Retail Business Services’ innovation lab and tech hub is powered by a Retail Business Services’ proprietary app, which admits shoppers to the store and charges shoppers for purchases. For ease of payment, services such as PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay and Google Pay are integrated into the wallet.