Innovation That Matters

Supermarket tech & ease


“Shop happy!” is the motto at Bloom, a new chain of grocery stores recently unveiled by supermarket giant Food Lion. Bloom has incorporated both innovative technologies and customer-friendly practices to create ‘a different kind of grocery store’. With a swipe of their Bloom Breeze Cards, shoppers can get personal scanners to carry about the store, scanning items and bagging them right in their carts as they shop. The scanners provide a running tally of how much customers are spending, so they can be mindful of their budgets. Scanners also allow Bloom to send instant messages to customers, alerting them when prescriptions have been filled or their deli orders are ready for pick-up. When they’re ready to check out, shoppers simply go to any check-out lane and scan an “end of trip” barcode and the order automatically downloads to a register, so there’s no need to unload and reload the cart. Which brings the average checkout time down to 32.7 seconds. (There are random checks to make sure nobody is cheating the system.) Based on nearly two years of consumer research and analysis, Bloom stores also feature customer-friendly aisle layouts, kiosks for downloading recipe ideas or learning about wine selections, 20-minute parking spots and more. There are even interactive information stations to help shoppers easily track down items on their shopping lists. Currently based on the east coast of the United States, there are 52 Bloom locations in Maryland, Virginia, and North and South Carolina, with plans to convert and rebrand dozens more Food Lion stores. Of course, Bloom isn’t the only supermarket making use of hand-held scanners and other technological advances. However, the combination of technology and implementing the industry’s best practices is something other retailers should take note of. Spotted by: Jennifer Weyand



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