French retail chain Carrefour has started a test in Paris, with a pick-up point for pedestrians that is fully automated. There is even a separate part for frozen foods.
The new 'drive' (as the French all pick-up points) has no need for staff: it consists of 94 boxes that can be opened using a QR code - customers do not need to touch anything except their own phone and their order. A second, cooled unit stores any frozen food the customer has ordered. The system can serve two or three people at the same time, LSA claims.
The system, which was developed by the Polish company Retail Robotics, replaces an earlier pick-up point for pedestrians, which was a 'regular', manned station. The fully automated boxes may be a first for Carrefour, but it is not a complete innovation. Also in Paris, competitor Intermarché has trialled a similar project before - but that was not a big success and was halted after a year. Analysts predict that the system now, with all the sensitivities regarding shopping in Covid-times, may have a much bigger chance to be successful.