First Look: Albertsons Debuts Grocery ATM

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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Shoppers of a Jewel-Osco grocery store in Chicago will be the first to be able to retrieve online grocery orders from a contactless kiosk.

Albertsons Companies said it is the first American grocer to pilot an automated and contactless grocery PickUp kiosk. Walmart, while not technically a grocer, has tested a similar idea in the past.

The automated, temperature-controlled kiosk is located at a Jewel-Osco store at 1224 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL. Customers who select the “Kiosk PickUp” option will be offered two-hour time slots during which to pick up their groceries. When customers arrive at the kiosk, they scan a code on their phone and their groceries are robotically delivered to the front of the unit for pickup.

The unit, created by Cleveron, features two temperature zones—regular and a deep freeze. A customer’s order can be stored in two different zones and still be delivered in the same console for pickup.

The kiosk in Chicago is currently fulfilling orders and the retailer plans to install a second unit at a Bay Area Safeway in the near future. Albertsons Companies operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under 20 banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, and Acme.

“We are supercharging our digital and omnichannel offerings to serve customers however they want, whenever they want,” said Chris Rupp, EVP and chief customer & digital officer at Albertsons Cos. “This innovative and contactless PickUp kiosk makes it even easier for customers to shop with us in a way that is convenient for them.”

“Cleveron’s pickup solutions are created to save time and offer convenience for everyone. The customers can drive up to the PickUp Kiosk, scan the code, grab their groceries and go. It is as quick and easy as that,” explained the CEO of Cleveron, Arno Kütt.

The kiosk, installed by Telaid, joins a growing lineup of customer-centric services offered by the retailer to provide contactless fulfillment. In October, Albertsons Cos. installed PickUp lockers at several Jewel-Osco stores. Delivered by Bell and Howell, the lockers are temperature-controlled and can be used both indoors and outside. The retailer said at the time the lockers "are expected to be installed at select Safeway locations in the Bay Area later in the year."

The company also already offers Delivery and Drive Up & Go options through its innovative websites and apps, and has relationships with third-party operators to provide delivery options in as fast as two hours.