Nationwide grocer Kroger Co,. is looking to build out its shopping experience, leveraging AI in order to improve shipping logistics and expand freshness capabilities.
In order to do so, the company has tapped NVIDIA, which will utilize digital twin simulations — virtual models that reflect store layouts and other operations — to build an AI lab and demonstration center at Kroger’s Cincinnati-based headquarters.
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Kroger will be using several platforms — including NVIDIA DGX™ A100 systems, NVIDIA InfiniBand networking, and NVIDIA RTX™ workstations — in order to gain insights across the company’s 2,800 stores.
Through this tech, Kroger can identify early indicators of deteriorating freshness using computer vision and analytics, leverage dynamic routing for last-mile delivery to bolster freshness efforts, and optimize store efficiency and processes with digital twin store simulation.
“Our collaboration with NVIDIA supports Kroger’s ‘Fresh for Everyone’ commitment,” said Wesley Rhodes, vice president of technology transformation and research and development at Kroger. “We look forward to learning more about how AI and data analytics will further our journey to provide our customers with anything, anytime, anywhere.”
Azita Martin, vice president and general manager of Retail at NVIDIA, said that by leveraging AI, shoppers gain a more personalized experience, both in physical stores and online.
Several grocery brands have jumped on digital and sustainability initiatives in order to improve freshness and fortify the consumer experience. According to RIS News, more than half (54%) of grocers are increasing their YoY tech spend, focusing on advancing digital and mobile capabilities, analytics-driven decision making, personalized marketing, and click-and-connect.
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Walmart, for example, is investing in vertical farming, looking for new ways to deliver quality and freshness while reinforcing earth-friendly strategies. Last September, Albertson’s launched shoppable video experiences that allows consumers to engage with retailers in a short-form video ecosystem.
A few years ago, Kroger announced it would be more strategic with its spending, cutting on some areas while continuing to focus on digitizing the shopping experience.