Microsoft joins hands with retail chain Kroger for connected grocery stores
American grocery retailer Kroger has partnered with US-based tech giant Microsoft where it will use the latter’s Azure cloud platform for its retail services.
In a company statement, Microsoft said that the partnership with Kroger will pilot a connected store experience and the two firms will jointly market a commercial retail-as-a-service (RaaS) product.
“Our partnership brings together Kroger’s world-class expertise in the grocery industry with the power of Azure and Azure AI. Together, we will redefine the shopping experience for millions of customers at both Kroger and other retailers around the world, setting a new standard for innovation in the industry,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft.
The Kroger Technology team has developed a smart technology system, powered by Microsoft Azure and connected by Internet of Things sensors, to transform two pilot stores located in Monroe, Ohio and Redmond, Washington, respectively, near each company’s headquarters.
The pilot stores will leverage RaaS, establishing a way to quickly add innovations to create new customer experiences, enable higher levels of personalisation through insights and enhance store associate productivity.
“Kroger is building a seamless ecosystem driven by data and technology to provide our customers with personalised food inspiration. We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft to redefine grocery retail,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO.
With Microsoft Azure, Kroger will store and process data generated from its retail outlets, near smart shelves and on Kroger’s app. Kroger’s digital stores will introduce EDGE shelves (Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment), a shelving system that uses digital displays instead of traditional paper tags to indicate everything from prices and promotions to nutritional and dietary information.