With traditional shopping ripe for mobile disruption, U.S. grocery chain Kroger has tapped Ottawa’s Edgewater Wireless Systems (TSX-V:YFI) to power its next-generation supermarkets.
The wireless tech firm will provide the in-store Wi-Fi in nearly 3,000 Kroger stores across the U.S., allowing shoppers to access the grocery chain’s interactive mobile applications.
Kroger’s app includes a “digital engagement shelf” that changes based on the aisle customers are shopping in. In-store sensors also track shoppers in real time to anticipate when checkouts might pile up.
In a release, Edgewater says its patented technology reduces interference from multiple Wi-Fi signals operating in high-density environments.
The announcement comes as another heavy-hitter in the retail industry, Amazon, unveils its vision for the grocery store of the future.
The firm launched the first Amazon Go store in Seattle on Monday. Shoppers scan their mobile devices to enter the unique store through turnstiles, and can take whatever they like off the shelf without paying – a receipt will appear in their inbox shortly afterwards notifying users that their Amazon accounts have been charged.
Amazon has yet to announce plans to open additional stores or bring the shopping style to any of the recently-acquired Whole Foods locations.