Giant Foods self-service concept store opens

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 12, 2005

Giant Foods self-service concept store opens

The US-based supermarket chain Giant Food Stores Inc. (part of Ahold USA) has today opened the doors of its new retail concept store in Camp Hill, PA, with technology assembled by Agilysys providing a whole new "interactive grocery shopping experience" for local customers.

One of the concept store's aims is to provide shoppers with as much as possible in the way of in-store convenience and self-service options. According to Bob Bailey, executive vice president for Agilysys, the competitive grocery retail environment is increasingly driving retailers to try out different technologies to gain customer service advantages.

Giant's new 91,200 square-foot concept store was also designed with store layout and merchandising in mind, while using technology (rather than mere signs and staff) to help customers find products, place orders, get information, and check out quickly and easily.

According to Tony Schiano, president and CEO for Giant Food Stores, "The customer-friendly technology at the Camp Hill store goes beyond existing grocery retail innovations such as self-checkout and standalone kiosks." In creating the technological side of the store's retail systems, Agilysys teamed up with St. Clair Interactive Communications Inc., IBM Corporation, and Symbol Technologies Inc., to implement a multi-application kiosk system and a portable personal shopper system.

Kiosk technology Giant's new Shopping Solutions multi-purpose kiosk includes no less than 23 self-service applications, based on the IBM Anyplace kiosk unit, with the additional of a Symbol MS 3207 MiniScan scanner. The store contains 25 kiosks networked with 5 large LCD digital media screens.

The kiosks interface to fourteen legacy data sources and content systems, allowing shoppers to complete a variety of in-store tasks with a touch of the screen, including pre-ordering from specialty shops within the store (such as the bakery, deli, or pharmacy).

Full service Shoppers can also receive personalised offers and coupons based on their shopping history, or reference information from their loyalty scheme membership, or look up prices for products. To help shoppers to locate items throughout the store, the system uses iPAL product location software (from Treo Systems). In addition, applications from ShoptoCook Inc. allow customers to access a variety of recipes, while applications from Healthnotes Inc. provide health, wellness and pharmacy-related information. Shoppers then have the option to take away print-outs of the information they need.

All of these applications are integrated with a common user interface using infrastructure software and application templates from St. Clair Interactive, which also allow Giant's managers to manage and issue store promotions, based on the time of day, to the kiosks and digital media LCD screens. The company also supplied systems to help Giant's legacy technology systems with store ordering, customer loyalty, targeted offers and information on products, store amenities and community events.

Portable shopper systems The store also has 72 portable Symbol PS3050 handheld mobile computers that customers can use throughout the store. The Personal Shopper System (PSS) uses an EasyShop scanner to allow customers to scan and bag their goods as they shop. The device records the purchases and keeps a running total of the dollars spent during the shopping trip. An EasyWeigh system allows shoppers to easily weigh their produce items and print the necessary bar-coded price label.

When the shopping session is over and the customer is ready to check out, they simply scan the 'end of trip' bar code, without the need to unload, scan, bag and reload items from the shopping cart (trolley).

For additional information: ·  Visit Giant Food at ·  Visit Agilysys at ·  Visit St. Clair at ·  Visit Symbol at ·  Visit IBM at