Kroger Tests eCART as Self-Serve Curbside Solution
Kroger is working with General Motor’s subsidiary BrightDrop, and has completed tests of their Trace Grocery eCart at store locations in Lexington and Versailles, Kentucky. The temperature controlled carts allow customers to pick up self-serve orders with curbside retrieval. The electric powered cart allows store associates to put orders directly into the unit and station it curbside. Customers enter their digital verification, open the designated drawer and unload their orders. Kroger will now roll out the program in the coming months. “COVID has driven a dramatic increase in online grocery shopping and fulfilling these orders profitably has become a major challenge for retailers of all sizes. With Trace Grocery, we saw an opportunity to help companies like Kroger tackle these challenges head on”, said Travis Katz, President and CEO of Palo Alto based BrrightDrop. “As online shopping continues to grow, BrightDrop is committed to developing innovative solutions to help customers keep pace.”
Temperature management allows grocers to pick up ordered items at safe temps for up to four hours. Nine compartments segment items by order, temperature and product type. The units are weather proofed so that the can handle extreme conditions. The surge in online shopping in recent years has made curbside order pick-up a preferred option for consumers. Up to 78% of grocers polled offered curbside pick-up this year up from 68% before the pandemic.