Retail Disruption Watch (September 2019)
CHICAGO —The battle to disrupt American commerce has taken an automated turn as more firms try their hand at self-driving delivery vehicles. From Amazon to Domino’s, retailers and restaurants alike are exploring delivery through automated vehicles (AVs). Meanwhile, the race to perfect frictionless checkout continues, now with more providers and more communities enacting bans on cashless stores.
Here is a monthly breakdown ...
Amazon begins testing sidewalk delivery robots in Snohomish County near Seattle. The rolling couriers drive themselves but are accompanied by an Amazon employee.
The Kroger Co. installs smart shelves powered by Microsoft in stores across the United States. The shelves allow customers to more easily find items and information about them using their mobile devices.
Grocery chain Stop & Shop announces plans to test AV deliveries with Robomart in the Boston area. Robomart vehicles carry shelves with a selection of items. Customers can summon the bots with a smartphone app.
Amazon opens its 10th Amazon Go unit, located in Chicago. The online retailer has yet to confirm whether it plans to open 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021, as first reported by Bloomberg.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is planning to open “dozens” of grocery stores—separate from the Amazon Go concept—in cities across the United States.
Nuro and Kroger expand their test of Nuro’s self-driving delivery vehicles to two Houston stores after a successful 2018 test in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The disruptor becomes the disrupted when Amazon tells CSP it is “working to accept cash at Amazon Go.” The move follows the passage of bans on cashless stores in Philadelphia and New Jersey.
Waymo—Google’s self-driving car division—announces plans to open a manufacturing facility for AVs in Detroit in 2019.
In New York, Amazon opens the first Amazon Go store that accepts cash. The opening marks the 12th Amazon Go store in the country.
In a blog post, Amazon reveals it could launch flying, autonomous delivery drones “within months.” It claims the drones can fly up to 15 miles carrying less than 5 pounds on one charge.
Pizza chain Domino’s announces it will test AV deliveries using Nuro’s self-driving fleet.
7-Eleven integrates “pins” into its delivery app, 7Now. The new feature allows app users to place orders through the 7Now app to almost anywhere, even a public location without a fixed address.
GetGo convenience stores and its parent company—grocer Giant Eagle—announce they are adopting frictionless checkout technology from Grabango. The tech has the capability to enable just-walk-out technology and other forms of frictionless checkout.
7-Eleven introduces mobile self-checkout in New York after testing the capability in a few Dallas locations.
Postmates receives a permit from San Francisco to test its self-driving sidewalk delivery robot in an industrial area of the city.