In early May, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) kicked off its TecExec Series with "Farm to Table: A Tech Story," an event that highlighted Kroger as an innovative company that utilizes technology to disrupt and transform the agriculture, retail and grocery industries.
The panel was comprised of Chris Hjelm, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Kroger, as well as Stuart Aitken, Chief Executive Officer of 84.51°, Kroger's consumer insights subsidiary company that helps the grocer navigate the complex data landscape to reveal relevant customer patterns. A stored webcast and additional information on the event can be seen on the U.S. Chamber's website.
Below are a few of the takeaways:
- Throughout its history, Kroger has continued to be a source of innovation, beginning with its introduction of automated scanners and customer loyalty cards that revolutionized the retail industry in the 1970s.
- Today, the retailer is following that same path of innovation, implementing new technologies to provide a better shopping experience for its customers, including:
- Incorporating IOT into refrigeration systems to maintain appropriate temperatures;
- Enacting its QuickList program that allows customers to order their groceries online and pick up in-store, and checkout through a dedicated express lane that notifies them of applicable coupons available in their virtual loyalty card and automatically applies them at the POS;
- Implementing entirely digitized shelves with HD video capabilities to better map shelf and store layouts to learned customer preferences.
- Kroger is also working to attract a talented millennial workforce comprised of software engineers and other tech specialists by sponsoring events such as TechLympics, a Cincinnati high school program designed to expose students to more STEM professions.
In sum, Kroger strives to embody what an (R)Tech company ought to be: one that embraces the confluence of retail and technology to delight today's empowered consumers.
If you have any questions, please contact Brennan Duckett, manager of government affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.